MMEP recycles and recreates mathematics teaching
The Midlands Meander Education Project (MMEP) recently held a workshop with Claire Raciborska on teaching mathematics through a Montessori, play-to-learn format.
With the poor quality of mathematics teaching in several schools and many learners failing to grasp the fundamentals of mathematics, the MMEP team wanted to explore ways in which mathematics could be taught differently to both engage learners and help them better understand mathematics.
Using wooden blocks, Claire demonstrated how the concept of cubes or square numbers could be taught. Beer bottle caps became counters in multiplication and a peg board with elastic bands demonstrated Pythagoras’ theorem.
These games, which are all made from recycled items, are easy and cheap to make and provide useful and feasible teaching aids. Being able to demonstrate abstract concepts in a graphic manner and well as giving learners the opportunity to play with the games allows the learners to understand how concepts before moving to the abstract with numbers.
The concept of play and self-directed learning is at the core of the educational ethos of the MMEP and the teaching facilitators (the well-known Bugs) enjoyed learning how to use the games to discover the logic of mathematics. Armed with bright counters and bead bars, the Bugs will be spreading the colour of mathematics during local schools this term.
If you would like to donate beer bottle tops or wooden off-cuts to make these games, please be in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org)