November 14, 2018 – Students from a Methods of Teaching Math class led by Dr. Saynes hosted a Math Carnival at Rhea County Academy (RCA). As a class, they spent several weeks preparing various math activities to complete with the students. Each student chose a grade specific activity which could be played with RCA students at the Math Carnival. The Education students also had the opportunity to meet with teachers at RCA during the planning process to ensure they were planning activities that were appropriate for the various grade levels.
The purpose of the night was to help students experience math in a new way. Education students wanted to show RCA students and their families that math can be fun! One of the required readings for the course is Learning to Love Math by Judy Willis, which encourages teachers to help students make positive connections with math. The activities played during the Math Carnival not only helped students make positive connections but were also games that could be played at home. The hope being that parents would encourage their children to continue playing these games when they go home.
Education students enjoyed participating in this event. It was a great way to apply what they had been learning in the classroom in a practical way. Katey Scott and Laura Dodson worked with the 4th grade class at RCA. They had a great time playing math games with the students. Laura said, “It was a great experience to get to teach these students how fun math can be.” Kayla Brown was excited to come back to class to share that one of the students even commented, “I didn’t know math could be this fun!”
The teachers at RCA were also very appreciative of all the work that went into the Math Carnival. Mrs. Tran, a kindergarten teacher at RCA, said, “It was a great success, and the families really enjoyed it.” Kayla Green complemented the Education students on their knowledge of the skills students were learning at the various grade levels and reinforcing those skills in their games. In the future, the Education Department hopes to continue to be able to do Math Nights at local schools in an effort to serve our community in a new and engaging way.
Written by: Laura Dodson, Education Major