Daniel believes in a school where numeracy is everywhere! But at the start of the Changemaker program, the reality was that maths wasn’t a priority at his school. In the six years Daniel had been at his school, numeracy had never been a whole school focus. One of the thirty blog posts on the school’s website were about numeracy and mathematics, and the 2016 PDP documents didn’t require teachers to mention the teaching of mathematics.
Daniel decided to dedicate his time to helping parents, staff and students value numeracy as much as they do literacy. No big deal.
He decided to use a three pronged approach to tackle the problem; students, staff and parents.
With his own students Daniel taught real life investigations through an initiative he called ‘Maths Detectives’. His kids loved it so much that teachers started asking what he was doing. This gave Daniel an opportunity to pitch the idea to his colleagues. He used this pitch and then a Curriculum Day to spark interest and convince staff that numeracy learning was worth focussing on, and shortly after, all staff started dedicating one lesson per week to open ended learning and one to real life investigations. Maths Detectives took off as an initiative that all Grade One students were involved in.
It was important to think about how parents could be involved in the process, too. Daniel set up structures to ensure there was homework involved in the real life investigation numeracy tasks that encouraged parent involvement. He also ran an open night where the Grade One students helped their parents become Maths Detectives, too.
Some awesome initiatives!
In just one year Daniel was able to positively impact more than 80 students with his Maths Detectives program. His aim of whole school involvement means he’s moving towards an impact of 500 students.
Parents have enjoyed engaging in the program, too!
“On Open Day it was fantastic to see parents lying on the floor, measuring the length of the classroom using their whole body or their hands and feet. We had a space in my room that was dedicated to our Olympic Maths topic and my room consistently had the most people in it.”
Like the idea?
Daniel would love your support for Conversation Cards, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and he’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where he can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Daniel and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer him on in the comments below, too.
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