Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Mathia

"The maths leader award is not concerned with the teaching of maths to the maths leaders. The course and award's aims are simply to teach young people how to lead others through basic maths activities and improving communication, organisation and motivational skills within the maths leaders."

Our intake is rough around the edges - even our best kids have something about them - but there are some real gems in there and I intend to sift through and find them. The sheer mention of university applications fills their eyes with hope, like they're unaware of their potential having never been told this. I can't help but recognise the positive aspects of being involved in this kind of exercise for life skills for our pupils and for their college and university applications.

I'm developing The Mathia!

The basics are this:
* the course takes approximately 30 hours to complete.
* pupils are required to be 13 years old or older.
* each pupil costs £5 to enter, with a minimum initial order of 25 learners.

The course is broken down into 6 units:
1. Planning, preparing and assisting a simple maths activity.
2. Communication and motivation skills for leading a maths activity.
3. Delivering maths across the curriculum.
4. Compendium of maths games and activities.
5. Organising and running a maths event/club.
6. Demonstration of leadership skills in maths.

We intend to run the course during a weekend away and during after school sessions in the first half term of this year for year 11 and later in the year for year 10.

Once the pupils complete the course, which I don't see as being a massive issue, they can have a massive impact on the progress of others and the presence of mathematics within the school. The areas that I have noted as potential uses are:

* One to one mentoring.
I've had a look at our tracking data for Year 7 over the past year and used a number of IF statements in Excel to identify some pupils who are seen as having a good attitude (two 1s and a 2 in our ATT column) but are two or more sub-levels below their target grade (if the difference between ACH and TGT at the end of the year is greater than 0.6). More than 15 children have been identified and I intend to assign each of the year 11 maths leaders to an incoming year 8 pupil. I expect them to meet at least once per week (before school, during registration, at break, at lunch or after school) and come back to me with this and hope that the year 8 pupils' confidence and, in turn, their grades improve.
Year 10, who will complete the course later in the year, will be assigned to current year 7 after Christmas, as this will allow these pupils to take their mentees/mentors through into next year and roll the programme out with Year 10s being taken on to work with Year 7.

* Involvement in 'Maths Day' activities.
I'm talking 'Pi Day' and 'World Maths Day' and things like this. WMD is on March 6, 2013 and a very basic plan is to commendere an ICT room (or 2... or 3...) where the Maths Leaders can lead year 7 and 8 classes in the WMD activities.

* Involvement in 'Year 5 Taster Day' sessions.
I posted a blog in July about the best end of term lesson ever. This is the activity we run with year 5 when they come in for a taster day and I'm sure that extra bodies involved would be a massive boost for the teacher who runs the session. By having a group of Maths Leaders (say, 8 of them) we can train them to work with any group. Let's say we have 8, numbered clockwise around the room in a horseshoe. When we start bringing the tetrahedrons together they can pair up (A = 1&2, B = 3&4, C = 5&6, D = 7&8). Once they're done, bring those groups together (A&B and C&D). I'm sure that this will lead to larger tetrahedrons being made and improved picture opportunities.

* Involved in delivering maths sessions at taster evenings.
If we have a number of kids who are mentors and a number of kids highlighted as mentees we can have the mentors available for questioning from parents and the mentees too. The mentees could work with the mentors to aid the incoming primary school pupils through puzzles and problems.

* Deliver after-school intervention/revision sessions.
Our KS3 classes follow a rather similar path throughout the year over 6 units. Our Maths Leaders can work in small groups to prepare and deliver revision sessions to the year 7s and 8s at different levels (123, 3 into 4, 4 into 5, 5 into 6 - rotating so that they work with all ability groups) prior to theit unit tests.

The biggest part of this that I'm excited about is the chance to turn our high achievers into even higher achievers.
And the badges... Oh the badges:

£20 for 100.

Any other suggestions for potential 'uses' of Maths Leaders would be absolutely outstanding.

Updated Sunday September 2, 19:27
 After I posted this on Twitter, it went a bit further than I expected it would. Thanks to everyone for their feedback and support. I've ordered 70 'The Mathia' badges and 30 badges for my form (They say 'I'm in 8DAT (It's OK to be jealous)' on them). I have a meeting on Thursday with the head of Literacy and Sports Leaders to discuss what we're going to do, so very excited and hoping to have them before then.

@janetgoodall suggested that 'The Mathia' could also be given the responsibility of updating a display board within the department or to deliver assemblies.
I'm thinking that a display board would be good, but I'm unsure over what they could really put on it. The assembly idea I like a lot and will be discussing with people over the next week.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great! I'm really interested to hear how it goes and what you learn from this year as I think this could really work in my school. Thanks for sharing.