Oracabessa Primary builds on math success
Carl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
ORACABESSA, St Mary:
Spurred by its success in winning the Ministry of Education’s Region Two grade four level mathematics championship last year, the Oracabessa Primary School has started a math club that seeks to encourage even greater participation in the subject.
Adopting the ministry’s ‘Math Counts’ slogan, the club is just getting off the ground but, according to Principal Gregory Davis, there are signs already that students are paying more attention to the subject, under the guidance of math coach, Marsha Martin.
One drawcard is the wearing of jeans and T-shirts printed with the slogan ‘Math Counts’ by club members to meetings.
“The math club is an initiative that we’re trying to have to raise students’ awareness in mathematics,” Davis explained.
“As a country, many students shy away from mathematics so the math coach and myself decided we wanted to promote math, so I said, let the students wear T-shirts and jeans that let them stand out, and that is what grabbed their attention.
“We want to make steady inroads in mathematics. The club is one avenue that we’re trying to utilise to see how we can get students to up the ante where mathematics is concerned.”
Martin, who is into her second year as math coach at the school, said the club is being used as a medium to promote a love for the subject and to ensure that students see math as something that is fun and not something to fear. The club will also prepare students for math competitions, she pointed out.
“We’re going to be involving the students in regional and national competitions, so we’re using the math club as a medium to promote that also, to have the students basically just loving the subject and not fearing it,” Martin said.
“Once they’re able to see and apply, because that is basically where PEP (Primary Exit Profile) is heading to, they need to be able to apply what it is they’re doing, and if they’re learning and having fun, then that makes application even better for them and easier.”