Post-Primary Schools

Activity 2: An email project focussing on Mathematics

Target Group: Transition Year Students

Engage in a mathematics contest with corresponding students in their paired school. Each school is being issued with set of seven problems. The objective is to solve as many problems as possible in 7 days. They must then challenge their paired school with these questions. Simultaneously the paired school will be carrying out a similar exercise. Calculators should not be used unless explicitly stated in the question.

Objectives:

Technology Implementation

  1. To familiarise the class teachers with the use of email as a teaching tool.
  2. To familiarise students with email as a means of communication with others.
Curriculum Implementation
  1. The engage students collaboratively in problem solving
  2. To reinforce the notion of mathematics as a means of communicating ideas.
  3. To develop critical skills in evaluating the received material.
  4. To enable students to analyse critically and to communicate their ideas with others
  5. To encourage students to research aspects of mathematics with which they may not be fully familiar.
  6. To prepare students for topics that they will encounter at Leaving Certificate level.
  7. To have fun while solving and analysing mathematics puzzles
Resource Development
  1. To document the benefits of the activity.
  2. To document any difficulties that arose during the activity.
  3. To share the various solutions that the students developed
  4. To provide suggestions to other teachers for managing the activity effectively.
 

School-based IT-Co-ordinatorsí Role

  1. To select a suitable transition year class to participate in the activity (a teacher who has not used email before might be invited to participate).  It would be advisable to have a mix of abilities in the chosen classes.
  2. To assist with any technical problems that arise with using email etc.
  3. To encourage other teachers of Transition Year students to try out the activity.
  4. To assist with the completion of an activity evaluation sheet and to return same to the project co-ordinator
 

Class Teacherís Role

  1. To co-ordinate the class in preparing solutions and to ensure that the approach to problem solving is within the spirit of the programme.
  2. To direct the students to relevant resources to help in solving the problems.
  3. To divide the class into teams, select a team leader to co-ordinate the reports from their team.
  4. To encourage each student in each team to tackle each problem and to discuss the solutions in a suitable forum before the solutions are agreed.
  5. To ensure that each student completes the personal activity evaluation sheet.
  6. To complete the teacherís activity evaluation sheet.
 


Activity 1
Evaluation Form
 
    1. How were the various teams selected?
    2. How many pupils took part in this activity?      _______Boys    _________Girls
    3. At what level(s)  did your class take their mathematics  JCE?
    4. _____ % Higher      ____% Ordinary       ____% Foundation

    5. What approach was adopted in problem solving for this activity?
    6. How many pupils in your class acted as team leaders for the activity?
    7. _______Boys    _________Girls

    8. How many pupils in your class emailed their solutions to the partner school? _______Boys _________Girls
    9. Please indicate your view on the extent to which pupils in your class, using the following scale achieved the following objectives:
 
1 (strongly agree) 2 (agree) 3 (disagree) 4 (strongly disagree)

 

Objective
Level of Agreement
(see above)
Improved the students' general problem-solving skills     

 

Increased students' ability to analyse problems critically   
Increased students' awareness of Mathematics as a mode of communication  
Developed students' critical skills in evaluating the received material.  

 

   

 

Developed students' skills in communicating their ideas to team members 

 

  

 

Increased pupilsí understanding of some of the qualities of an effective report.   

 

Increased own (teacherís) understanding of the operation of technology   

 

Increased own understanding of the potential of email to develop communication skills  
Encouraged students to research and review.  
 
 
8. Please list any other benefits for you or your pupils that arose from this activity:

 

 

 

 

 

9. Please list any technical difficulties that arose in implementing this activity:

 

 

 

 

 

10. Please list any other difficulties that arose in implementing this activity:

 

 

 

 

 

11. How could the email activity be modified and/or improved to achieve the pupil objectives more effectively?

 

 

 

 

12. How often would you use computers in your teaching?

 

 

13. Would you use email activities with your classes again? ____Yes ____No

 

 

 

14. Comments

 

 

 

 

 

Please attach any resources you used in conducting this activity and return the evaluation to the IT co-ordinator in your school.