Yesterday, Della Davidson Elementary hosted their 4th annual Math Fair.
Students in the 3rd and 4th grades were asked to solve a math task using Polya’s Problem Solving Process, a step-by-step process for problem-solving. The students, then, created a display and explained how they came to their conclusion.
The program began as a way to develop the student’s ability to think through and explain their problem-solving methods as the Common Core Standards were being implemented. Kimberly Price, a 4th-grade teacher at Della Davidson, began searching for ideas to help students with the new curriculum, and using a familiar structure, she began to organize the Math Night.
“I searched for an event that would allow our students to show the community what they had learned with the new curriculum; I searched for ideas about Math Night,” Price said. “Unimpressed with my findings, I thought about creating a math fair that resembled the science and reading fair. I took classic components of the science fair and used it to guide me in creating the math fair. The math fair was created to give the students an opportunity to showcase what they had learned and give them the opportunity to share this experience with their families as they work together to put their presentation together.”
Now that DDES has been putting on the event for four years, they are looking to expand the program. Next year, they hope to expand the grades that participate in the Math Fair all the way up to the 8th grade and work to involve other schools in the Lafayette and Oxford districts. Price is also working with the Center for Math & Science Education at the University of Mississippi to help spread the program to schools across Mississippi.
“The accurate use of vocabulary through written explanations of problem-solving tasks gave students a solid foundation for explaining their thought processes,” Price said. “We continue the math fair because it’s just a great way to get parents and students involved and to hear them explain math using accurate vocabulary and with great knowledge. [It] is a very exciting time for teachers!”
See photos and videos from the Math Fair below, Courtesy of Kimberly Price:
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.