255 Math Clubs Established in Schools


Mathematics Co-ordinator for Region 4, Mr. Davion Leslie, is reporting that the island’s numeracy specialists have established math clubs and math corners in a significant number of the 327 critically performing schools islandwide, from September to December 2009.
“The specialists have established math clubs in 78 per cent of the 327 schools, which are supported by the team, which translates to 255 schools. The specialists are also supporting the development of math corners in 51 per cent of the schools that they support, that’s approximately 1,100 math corners that have been developed,” he informed, during a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, at the Agency’s headquarters in Kingston.
According to the National Mathematics Co-ordinator, Mrs. Tamika Benjamin, 95 per cent of the 327 schools should have a mathematics club by the end of this academic year.
“It is difficult [to establish clubs], because the specialist is not responsible for running the club. They provide support in getting it going and providing activities and ideas for the club, so it’s a challenge, but we are working hard to ensure that by the end of this academic year, at least 95 per cent of the 327 schools have a club in place,” she informed.
According to Mr. Leslie, a key focus of the numeracy specialists, who form part of the Education Transformation Programme, has been to work closely with teachers.
“There have been 495 sessions of guided lesson planning with teachers. This has been a key part of the team’s work in this new academic year, so that much of what the team does now is to engage teachers before the delivery of the lesson in some of the best practices involved with the lesson to be delivered and sitting with teachers usually as a group to plan lessons together, to ensure that the delivery can be at a standard we would want it to be,” he explained.
He further noted that 226 demonstration lessons have been conducted by the specialists and co-ordinators working in the schools.
“These demonstration lessons are aimed at displaying best practices for the teachers themselves to emulate and to generate discussions at the end of the lesson as to some of the things that could be done otherwise,” Mr. Leslie noted.
In the meantime, he pointed out that some 162 sessions were organised with parents to ensure they are equipped with some of the right skills to better interact with their students where math is concerned.
“There is of course the perception by many in the society, parents as well, that math is a hard subject and as a result of that, sometimes a culture of acceptance when their students fail math and that is part of what the team tries to address in these sessions,” he added.
The Co-ordinator argued that the crippling fear both students and teachers have of math, needs to be addressed.

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