Jo thinks it is unacceptable that students starting at her school are below the expected level in numeracy. Unfortunately, at the start of the program 80% of the year 7 intake were below expected level in maths and there were not enough girls taking up VCE advanced maths. This was particularly problematic given that future predictions indicate we need more women in STEM careers. Jo believes in a school where everyone can continue to build on their numeracy skills and knowledge, and she set about to make this a reality.
The key to Jo’s initiative was reconnecting girls with their learning of maths when they may have given up.
Jo designed a numeracy support club called INTERACT, which began as a lunchtime club but was moved into maths classrooms. Jo created over 50 different packs that are zoned into four main levels, which include games, activities and hands-on tasks. The packs are designed so that girls can interact with others in relation to their numeracy learning, engaging in maths learning without necessarily knowing they are doing ‘math’! The packs were also created to be easily accessible for other staff members to use in their classrooms.
The principal of the school has also backed the plan to employ a primary school maths teacher, two days a week, to work with girls during maths class times, employing the INTERACT program, allowing the initiative to have an even greater impact!
Jo’s initiative has positively impacted at least 20 girls at her school, as well as five other year 7 maths staff.
“Morgan is in year 7 but at a grade 3/4 level in maths. She was a serial maths avoider, not wanting to even try anymore. She now looks forward to INTERACT and is speaking up in small groups and offering her ideas and opinions. She looks forward to Mondays! Back in the classroom she is trying and engaging in her learning. She is happier and engaging in her learning of maths.”
Like the idea?
Jo would love your support for INTERACT with Maths, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Jo and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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