Mini Maths Expo

Cherie Cooper
Barmera Primary School, South Australia

Cherie participated in a six day Maths on the Move professional learning program titled Engineering 'aha' Moments K-8 and found her teaching practice changed significantly. She also found herself excited about supporting the development of a richer mathematics program across the school. The Mini Expo is one outcome of this renewal of interest in mathematics teaching and learning.
Station 3

Green Line

I want to tell you about our Mini Maths Expo...

It was Literacy and Numeracy week in Australia and our school was not going to do much due to it suddenly creeping upon us. Our principal, thought we all had enough on our plates.

I wanted to do something, especially after the six day course.

Anyway, I had this brilliant idea of having different stations set up in the hall for two days and each teacher could book their class in for a session. I approached Terry, our Principal, with my idea and he was enthusiastic and said if I wanted to do all the work, then go for it. Jayne Foulds, our Maths Co-coordinator, and I met and discussed all the nitty gritty that would be involved.

Choose a bag of 4 shapes.
Can you make a triangle? Can you make a rectangle?
My job was coming up with all the tasks and activities. Huge signs were also made about what a mathematician does and how they solve an interesting problem. They were placed all over the walls of the hall. It was so rewarding doing something like this as it was showing all the staff how maths could be exciting and interesting without worksheets.

The response from the teachers was excellent. They were very pleased with how their students performed and enjoyed all the tasks and activities. Many students came and saw me when I was on yard duty and talked about what they did and how they did it. It was inspiring.

Oh, it was excellent. We had 16 stations in the hall that ranged with tasks and activities from Reception to Year 7. Parents were sent a personal invitation from their child letting them know what time their session was and hopefully they would be able to come along. We had a huge turn out of parents and even the teachers were amazed. Many parents commented on how some of the task cards were hard and even made them think!

With a Mum Crosses

The response from the students was outstanding.

Some of the older students stayed on one task for the duration of their session because they were determined to 'solve' the problem.

Other students who are 'bright' rushed right in and said ...that was easy and after being checked by the teacher realised that they had not followed the task correctly, and suddenly they had a challenge. This inspired them and they actually had to think about how to do this task.

Editor's Note

If Cherie's Expo idea excites you, you might also be interested in:
This was all due to the Maths on the Move six day training course. Many thanks to you for all your support and guidance.

To have totally changed my way of thinking and enjoyment in teaching maths is such a thrill and I cannot wait for next year to start with a new group of students.

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