Page 9 - FIS World October 2018
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  In one of the first applications, a parent brought in bunches of paper measuring tapes from her work. A meter line was then put on the wall in the corridor, which immediately led to Molly Schuster’s Grade 2 students working on their math and unit of inquiry there. Skip counting number facts were taped on the stairs between the Primary School and Elementary School and a Grade 1 student asked, “Why are these numbers on the stairs?” Andrea Noble, a Grade 3 teacher replied: “Well, do you see a pattern?”“Oh, yes!”
Incorporating visual math representations into
the school’s environment became a learning opportunity in itself, engaging many of our Grade 6–8 students in action to serve the school commu- nity. On the Middle School Service day last spring, a group of students made a start with painting the first selection of math games on the playground: a number snake up to 100, a large Venn diagram, an empty clock and an empty 100 chart that can be used during four square games as well.
The number snake that slithers around the corner near the Primary School classrooms has some negative numbers in its tail, an idea from Joanna Brauckmann, Grade 1 teacher. “It will trigger the curiosity and thinking of our Primary School and Elementary School students.”We have seen them play the popular “rock, paper, scissors” game with students hopping through the snake from head and tail towards the middle.
Four square was a popular game before the project. Now it does not have to be chalked anymore after each rain shower. And the fact that it is also an empty 100 square, opens possibilities
for other games and outdoor learning. By having such blank models, there are possibilities for differentiating instruction within and across grades up to Middle School. The models can be used in a concrete way (using manipulatives like little blocks and/or writing the numbers with chalk), semi-concrete or abstract way. This scaffolding is especially important for those who are not as strong in math or are English-language learners, but ultimately it is helpful for all learners.
More installations are planned for the future, including another square behind the picnic tables that will become a big “snakes and ladders” game
– probably on the next Middle School service day. Height and length are also indicated in the sports hall and are used for throwing and jumping activities, and students can check how high they can climb the wall. In the FISW Commons, students will soon see how many meters they need to wait until they get their lunch, an idea of Gareth Rose, Grade 5.
The ongoing project raises the awareness of math as part of our students' everyday lives, and makes math even more exciting and appropriately challenging for all. We are always surrounded by art and literacy learning in schools; our aim is to be equally aware of our daily immersion in a world of mathematics.
Renske Oort FISW Teacher
Re-working the blue whale’s signage (left); exploring numerical possibilities within the snake
at FISW (above)
 October 2018 FIS World 7

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