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Maths Parties

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A fun way to celebrate the curious, creative and collaborative nature of mathematics is by holding a maths party.

Maths parties are fast becoming a favourite past time of Maths Play — so much so, we'll continue to advocate for, support, and hold them.

Here are examples of events we're thinking about as Maths Parties:

 

Maths Parties for Teachers

Maths Play's online launch parties. Back in March teachers from across Australia and the world met together online to celebrate the International Day of Maths theme: Maths for Everyone. Some of us wore invisible party hats. Others wore actual party hats. And we played with maths in different ways — through conversations, games, stories and more. 

✨ Maths Play's Big Day of Maths Play: Primary Education Conference: Maths Play's first in-person conference was back in July and brought together primary educators from across Melbourne and the state. It was a day of playful conversations, sharing learning stories, playing with games and puzzles, getting hands on in nature, with manipulatives and Lego....  There was party food... There was laughter. There were new friendships formed. It was a full day party effort.

✨ Youcubed x EarthEd's Conference. EarthEd organised for Jo Boaler and Cathy Williams of Youcubed to visit Ballarat and run a series of professional learning days in August this year. The team referred to the week of PD as a week of maths parties. Again - fun maths, powerful conversations, more new friendships. And again — party food. Another full day party effort.

 

Maths Parties for Families

✨ Family Mornings. We have heard wonderful stories from both families and teachers about the power of opening classrooms on a special occasion to welcome family members in to enjoy playful maths activities with the class.  

With games, fun counting, playful conversations, and fascinating things to think about.... it sounds a bit like a party...🤔

✨ Maths Play Community Events. We held a Maths Play Evening and and Maths Play Morning in June, in honour of 28th June (a date we have started celebrating) at a local community space in Melbourne's east. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet others, connect over games and puzzles and 'mathemagical' cards tricks...

✨ Family Maths Nights. The name says it all. For ideas and resources to run a family maths night, Math for Love has a bunch of resources to explore. Way to celebrate and enjoy maths together 🛼

 

 Maths Parties for Students

Maths parties can be held during ordinary school hours, purely for the sake of learning. We believe a party can be made of any occasions where students and teachers celebrate the positive, playful and powerful nature of maths together in novel ways. 

Maths Play was co-ran just such a special event last week with a Year 1/2 class of students here in Melbourne. 

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Maths Play's first Counting Bonanza 🎉

Last week marked a special occasion for Maths Play as we collaborated with a Year 1/2 class to run our very first Counting Bonanza - a party with, you guessed, plenty to do with counting. 

The class had been involved with a Maths Play in-school research program. Part of this program was to explore mathematical ideas through a range of activities over 10 sessions. And ultimately strengthen our number sense as a group.   

Session 11 was time to prepare for the Counting Bonanza: an event where this first Year 1/2 class invited a second Year 1/2 class to their classroom to share in some of the activities from the last 10 sessions. Session 12 (a longer one at 1.75 hours) was the celebration itself.

Here's what was on the menu:

 

The Entrée

After a general welcome and acknowledgment of country by two reps from the hosting class, we began the bonanza by 'playing forward' a 60-chart version of James Russo and Toby Russo's 'Skip-Counting Bingo

What better way to get started at a Counting Bonanza than to play a game that involves counting in different ways to drive the game?!

 

The Main

After a little group chat about what numbers make especially good bingo numbers in Skip-Counting Bingo, we moved on to the main event; our main course.

Representatives from the hosting class helped introduce a menu of five challenges to explore in the Pop Up (Maths) Play Museum.  

 

Challenge 1: Symmetry Challenge

Using blocks, what symmetrical creations are possible?

Counting opportunities: How many blocks is the creation? How many blocks is half the creation?

 

Challenge 2: Pattern Block Triangles

For which numbers from 1 to 20 is it possible to make a pattern block triangle? Are any numbers from 1 to 20 impossible?

Original source for task: Math for Love

 

Challenge 3: Square Numbers

Challenge 4: Cube Numbers

Using small cubes, what number of cubes can make a larger cube? These are cube numbers!

What cube numbers can you find?

 

Challenge 5: 20, 50 and 100 Creations

Using blocks, what 20-block, 50-block or 100-block creations are possible? How might one check or keep a track of the total?

 

Dessert

There was just enough time, and enough room in our mathematical bellies, to finish off with some whole group counting. Students from the group came up with different ways to count a collection of 28 stickers. There were more counting ideas than there was time to count with them all. But we managed to fit in counting: 

  • by tens and ones
  • by fives and ones
  • by eights and ones
  • by fours
  • by ones

What would be the entrée, main and dessert at your ideal mathematical feast? 

:D

 

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