Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Watsonton Primary gets creative with math

Published:Thursday | March 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston
Principal Marchelle Williams.

Lionel Town, Clarendon:

The Watsonton Primary School in Lionel Town Clarendon took on the challenging task of getting students to have a greater appreciation for math with a Math Day event under the theme 'Math Counts, Get Involved'.

Principal of the school Marchelle Williams told Rural Xpress that the event which was an overwhelming success had the input of both parents and students.

"We wanted to promote math in the school and on a larger scale, show students the importance of math in everyday life," she said.

Explaining the rationale behind inviting parents to be a part of the day's activities, Williams said they wanted them to be exposed to the different strategies they can use to improve their child/children's mathematical skills.

"Parents expressed that they didn't realise they could use basic household items to reinforce math concepts taught," said Williams.

The parenting workshop that took place during the course of the day was interactive with the session closing out with them receiving certificates of participation.

Students had a ball as math was put to the beat of music opening students' eyes to new ways of learning the subject.

Sharlene Brown-Nelson, the school's mathematics coordinator and her team coordinated the day's activities which included inter-grade math display competition, math poster competition and math jingle competition.

Brown Nelson said before students had challenges with relating to the subject.

"They had a reluctant attitude towards the subject. When you mentioned the word 'math' they groaned and many of them saw it as painful task. Some of the comments I got were, 'Miss why do I need this?'" said Brown Nelson.

She said every year, she had been faced with the same questions and had to deal with their resistance to the subject, hence the approach to show that math is relevant in every way.

"They couldn't see how geometry and angles related to real life and I kept telling them math was all around so that was the way to open their eyes to that truth," she said.

The day proved to be more of a success than she bargained for as she said since then, even her students have been asking her to use more jingles during class.

"They whole attitude has been changed toward the subject," a pleased Brown Nelson said.

Her wish is that other schools embrace the concept and implement it, noting that has proven to be a big difference in getting students mindset changed about the subject.