World Maths Day is a global educational event involving participants from 240 different countries.
Part of the World Education Games project, World Maths Day invites students from around the world to compete in online challenges and games. It’s observed twice a year, on the first Wednesday in March and again on October 15. In 2010, the event broke the Guinness World Record for largest online maths competition. Registration is required but participation is free. Even if you opt out of the online competition, it’s still a great excuse to bring more math activities into the classroom. Here are a few ideas to get you prepared for World Maths Day:
Work On Your Reflexes
“Math fact fluency” refers to a student’s ability to recall facts about each of the four operations quickly and accurately. Most of the World Maths Day competitions encourage math fact fluency by using short, 60-second rounds. Prepare students for the competition and continued learning by developing their math reflexes with a timer and scorecards. There’s debate over whether these methods facilitate a deeper conceptual understanding of the material, but adaptive questioning that becomes more difficult as students’ retrieval skills improve may help overall performance.
Reviewing basic facts will help some of your students, but don’t feel you have to limit your questions to the four operations. Have students race to solve equations or write proofs – anything that connects to what you’re doing in your classroom.
Technology in the classroom helps to engage students on a new level. Educators can prepare for online World Maths Day competitions by registering for Mathletics here. The Mathletics site sets users up in live challenges and displays rankings based on student scores across the world. Sumdog is another platform made for quizzing students on their math skills. This site offers progress reports to track answers to Common Core math questions.
Use Realistic Scenarios
Students may struggle with math if it seems too abstract, or if they feel like they’re only learning the information to obtain a passable grade. But the ability to confront and solve everyday math equations in the real world is a necessary skill that requires quick thinking. For World Maths Day, ask students to reflect on areas of life outside of the classroom that require number literacy. Can they quickly calculate percentages, for instance, or the area of a space?
Organize A Math Night
Set up some in-person mathletics for students to compete against one another in the classroom. There could be different stations with various events and small prizes for the highest scorers – or for everyone, you decide!
World Maths Day isn’t the only math holiday on the calendar, either. There are quite a few annual events to look forward to. Check out a list of the best-known numerical celebrations here!