Math Crazy: DCES Math Club
Students never knew what they might find when they walked into Miss Lewis’s fourth grade class on Wednesday afternoons this past February and March. From flying marshmallows to glow sticks to the “Toilet Paper Olympics,” third and fourth graders who participated in the DCES Math Club learned that math is more than multiplication drills and addition problems.
DC parent Jordan Speers, Miss Lewis, and senior Alex Chung headed up the club that met for eight crazy weeks on Wednesdays from 3:15-4:15. Using a program called “Bedtime Math’s Crazy 8’s Club,” the team set out to teach math concepts in fun and unusual ways.
In one of the most novel meetings, club members used toilet paper to measure lengths during the “Toilet Paper Olympics.” And OK, they got toilet paper all over the hallway, but that was part of the fun. Then they put their math skills to work to determine, for example, how many lengths of toilet paper a basketball court is. Using this new unit of measure, they figured out that it would take 15 million sheets to get to Disney World and 3.7 billion to arrive on the moon.
In one math club meeting, students used glow sticks in the dark to have fun with geometry. In another, they made a large analog clock on the floor using students as the minute and hour hands. They used large, bouncy dice to learn about probability. They used decoding skills to figure out clues to solve riddles and problems. They used playing cards to play games using numbers.
They sent marshmallows flying across the classroom in order to experiment with how altering angles of a catapult could make marshmallows fly further. They used straws and water to learn about sound waves and then used the straws to make a pan pipe. It was an exciting eight weeks!
“I have had multiple children come and ask if we will do math club again,” said Lewis. “These were children in math club and some that were not. Once we started meeting, the kids were talking about it with their friends and the interest started to grow. They seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.”
Eighteen students signed up to join the DCES Math Club with an average of 15 attending each week. Plans are already in the works for a repeat – and hopefully and expanded – program next year.