Project 1: Math Magic

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Dennis Galway - Lead Teacher
(dgalway@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Kevin A. Giles - Enrichment Teacher
(kgiles@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

School: Amalgamated Academy
P.O. Box 460
Bay Roberts, NF
A0A 1G0
Tel: (709) 786-0280
Fax: (709) 786-1243
Grade Level: 4 - 6
Number of Students: 45 - 50
Project Start and Finish Dates: September - June (on-going each year)

  Project Overview

Math Magic is coordinated by a University in Texas. Basically it consists of groups of students from all over the globe who solve math problems that are distributed by a listserv and found on a web page. However, there is an interesting twist. Each team of 3-4 students is partnered with a similar group somewhere else in the world. Students use Email to collaborate on the solution for the posted problems before posting the mutually agreed upon solution to the Listserv. Not only does this give the students an opportunity to work with other students from around the world to solve challenging mathematics problems but it provides students with the opportunity to exchange a great deal of information about themselves, their country, province and community. This is a great learning experience for the students and one of the most useful ways that the net can be utilized in instruction. It breaks down the walls of the classroom and creates a virtual classroom without bounds where students with common interests can interact.

In order for groups of students to be actively involved in this project they require access to the Internet. This permits them to access the Math Magic web site and exchange E-mail with their Net partners.

  Curriculum Connections

  • The main curriculum areas this project would address are mathematics (problem solving) and technology)
  • Problem solving is one area that students in our school performed poorly on in Criteria Reference Test, Canadian Tests of Basic Skills and other indicators of performance. This project would give groups of students a unique and highly motivating way to improve their problem solving abilities.
  • They would also learn from this experience how to work in groups. The use of computer technology would extend this experience beyond the local group to encompass other groups in remote locations. This experience would be a valuable asset to students for their future education and work.
  • Students involved would also become familiar with computer technology. Especially its communication potential.

  Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Students will improve their problem-solving skills. The Ability to solve problems is one of the key components of the Mathematics Curriculum.
  • Students will learn to coordinate group activities. The skills necessary to work in groups and especially to extend these groups using communications technology is a key component in all curriculum areas.
  • Students will learn how to use Email. This implies that they not only learn to use the technology but that they also learn writing skills which are a vital component of the schools curriculum.
  • Problem solving and using computer technology are integral components of the Provincial Technology Education Policy.

  Resource Connections

This project can only work if students have access to the Internet. This access will facilitate the establishment of email accounts on our local server to which email from the listserv will be sent. It will enable the students to log on to the Math Magic web site and communicate with their net team partners and to post their final solutions.

  Evaluation

Checklist

___ Works productively in the group
___ Demonstrates the ability to use different problem solving strategies
___ Uses computer word processor to state solutions to mathematics problems
___ Communicates effectively with net term partners
___ Composes email
___ Knows how to send and receive email
___ Knows how to subscribe to a listserv
___ Knows how to access a web site
___ Knows how to download information from a web site

Mathematics problems solving is an area of weakness for many students. This project will give groups of students the opportunity to improve their problem-solving skills in a highly motivating manner. It will also give students the opportunity to use computer technology and to become more proficient in this vital area. Students will also have the opportunity to improve their writing skills as they use email to exchange information with their net team partners. These writing skills will range from technical writing as they exchange information on the solution to their problems, as well as more descriptive writing as they exchange information about themselves, their communities, provinces and country.

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