I made Mathematics more acceptable and interesting for students
Teacher’s name: Rana Ahmad Mahmoud Ziadeh
School: Al-Abbass Ibn Abdelmutaleb School(B)
Directorate of Education-East of Gaza
My students’ fear from math subjects ; fear from joining the scientific stream in addition to their low academic achievement were the main reasons for setting off this educational initiative(applying mathematics interestingly).To applying this initiative, I did three things. First, I established a mathematic club at the school to have students from different levels and so it made learning more interesting and successful. For example, my students made a mathematic fair that was considered one of the top exhibitions at the directorate. Second, we designed a school blog to log in more reliably. Third, we applied new strategies in education such as using drama in mathematics and focusing on students’ individual differences.
I consider my inspiring initiative a successful one for these reasons. It raised students’ motivation and love and for learning mathematics. Students also became more interested as they kept producing creative educational mathematical tools that were not produced before. Surprisingly, all these were achieved by using low cost materials such as the cardboard and cork materials.
The impact of the initiative
I would proudly say that this innovative initiative had a great and positive impact on several people and communities such as my students, their parents, other schools and the practicum training students at some universities. For example, my students became more enthusiastic for and interested in learning mathematics. As a result, their academic achievement increased especially after making the mathematic fair at the school. This scientific fair gave all students including low academic achievers a great opportunity of designing distinctive mathematical aids. Furthermore, 50 schools visited this fair and so they exchanged their experiences on wider levels. For instance, four more mathematical exhibitions were carried out in the area. Likewise, parents became more conscious and aware of what is going on at their children schools through watching some uploaded mathematic lessons on the school website and through a real participation in producing mathematical aids for their children.
In fact, I am so grateful to my students as they greatly contributed for the success of this initiative. Outstanding students designed, presented and applied creative mathematical aids for the visitors of the fair. Other students were remarkable in producing other educational mathematical aids and in activating the school website. Of course, I do not want to forget my school principal who supported this initiative in all aspects. Moreover, the instructional supervision department at the directorate and the mathematic supervisor did a great job in supporting this initiative through offering new strategies in teaching mathematics and through their help in the final presentation of the initiative. Finally, parents liked this innovation and so they worked with their children looking for suitable aids and in producing the new teaching aids.
Challenges and difficulties
Despite we faced difficulties due to space, electricity and announcement; we succeeded in overcoming these problems and difficulties. For example, there were no rooms for the club and for the fair. However, we overcame this problem through turning the school basement into a club for the students’ activities and their productions. We also turned the science lab into the fair till the end of the activities. Moreover, the electricity kept going off from time to time and this prevented benefiting from the school’s interactive learning programs and internet based lessons on its website. Luckily, the school also solved this problem by adjusting the mathematic lessons on the schedule depending on the availability of the electricity. Finally, we faced obstacles in announcing the initiative to a larger number of schools. Again, we rose above this problem through facilitating the movement of the buses that carry passengers from all the schools to our school fair.
Mobility caused by the initiative
There was no doubt that this Initiative strengthened the relationship between the students at the school and their parents; between the school and the other 50 schools and between the school and the Ministry of Education and between the Directorate of Education. Moreover, this initiative got a letter of appreciation from the Ministry of Education and some local institutions. Examples of all these were the parents’ continuous visits and help in order to produce several mathematical teaching aids. Practicum training students from other universities were also lucky to benefit from this experience through their training teaching course at the school. Moreover, the fair was not only visited by several schools, but it was also visited by leaders at the Ministry and the Directorate in addition to more than 20 instructional supervisors from all fields.