Math Fair

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“2, 4, 6, 8, We think math is really great!”  This cheer could be heard loud and clear from the gym on Wednesday morning, as students participated in our annual Math Fair.

Before we got this point, the Grade 6/7/8 class spent a morning preparing for the Math Fair.  They built and created manipulatives, gathered supplies and created posters that would enhance the learning of the groups they would be teaching.  Each group of senior students was given an outline of their topic, and they had to practice how they would present the material.

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On the morning of, we all met in the gym together.  After opening devotions, the students in JK – Grade 4 were divided into their teams for the day.  Each group was given a three dimensional shape, and they spent time examining the shape – how many faces, edges and vertices does it have?  Where can this shape be found in nature or in our world.

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After this, it was off to the stations.  The six stations were spread throughout the school building, and covered topics in different strands of math.

At Supersized Tangrams, students explored how smaller shapes can be combined to create compound shapes.  They were challenged to see if they could use the seven simple shapes in a tangram to create larger squares and triangles.

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At another station, students learned about ratios and how they are used.  One real life application of ratio is recipes, and students learned to double a recipe for a snack mix so that it would make enough for their whole group.

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To work on our number sense, students in one group practiced subitizing.  When we are able to look at a group of objects and know how many there are without counting them, we are subitizing.  In this group, students found collections of objects around the classroom and took pictures that will be made into counting books to be used in the kindergarten classroom.

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At Mystery Mass, students felt the difference between an object of 1 g and 1 kg, and then estimated the masses of containers with mystery contents.  They ordered the containers by mass, then found the actual mass to check if their order was correct.

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Students practice finding and extending patterns together, and also worked on looking for connections between objects.  Looking for patterns and connections is an important problem solving skill!

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At our last station, students learned the word logic and talked about how they can problem solve and try different strategies until they are successful.  Students enjoyed this station, as they got to maneuver big boxes in such a way that one stuffed animal could travel across to the other side.

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After all these stations, students headed back to their classrooms and had a time of reflection.  In their classes, students talked about what they had learned and wrote about it in their reflection journals.  This helps students to learn in a deeper manner, as they think about and write or draw about their learning experiences.

  • I like logic because it is fun and we moved boxes.
  • My favourite things was logic.  It was fun!  I moved the boxes.  I like to do the hard ones.
  • Today was the math fair.  I learned about mass, ratio, subitizing, logic and compound shapes.  I love math!
  • My favourite math object is logic.  … I just liked when you have to figure out the problem and also you get to use your brain to figure it out.  That’s why I like logic.
  • Logic is different ways to solve a problem.

For the senior students, this time of reflection was a chance for them to think about how they led and taught the groups that came in.  We discussed together how the day went, and what steps we could take to improve next year’s Math Fair.

A few excerpts:

  • I really enjoyed helping everyone do the problems.  I learned that I like teaching the younger ones.
  • I think that I like teaching kids things and encouraging them to try things.
  • I enjoyed how enthusiastic the kids were about learning the different math words.
  • I enjoyed that I could help other kids and could see their personalities.

The Math Fair was a fantastic day of learning together.

To sum it up, here are some more words from one of our Grade 3 students:

My fave center was…… logic and it was fun and good too.  And I did and expert one.  It was hard but easy it did not seem or feel expert.  But it was and it was awesome too …. I loved it and I’m super looking forward to the math fair again next year.

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