In-school BEAM math workshop

13 June 2012

After a long search for appropriate math workshop leaders, The Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi-Junior School, located Ms. Janet Rees from Be A Mathematician (BEAM) for an In-School Math Workshop, which was held on November 23-25 2011.

Grade 4: Ms. Rees probes students' ideas and thinking about space and dimension.After a long search for appropriate math workshop leaders, The Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi-Junior School, located Ms. Janet Rees from Be A Mathematician (BEAM) for an In-School Math Workshop, which was held on November 23-25 2011. The workshop was aimed at strengthning Math instruction. A need analysis approach helped the school identify the key objectives for the workshop, which were:

  1. Assessment
  2. Problem-solving
  3. Differentiation

Grade 2: Ms. Mary supports students as they explore 3D shapes.The workshop was organized so as to promote student-centered learning, teacher collaboration, modeling and the use of the language of mathematics as a common feature in the learning process. Importance was placed on how to use the math language, for example, parents and helpers need to be aware that the square is part of the rectangle group of 2D shapes together with the oblong, which has sometimes been erroneously been referred to as a rectangle.

Ms. Rees also modeled what math inquiry looks like throughout the workshop. It was evident that a lot of practices are already in use but Ms. Rees was able to provide practical and valuable advice on areas that she thought needed enrichment.

Extended discussions and modeling addressed effective questioning strategies and the use of manipulatives.

Teachers were certainly engaged and energized by the Janet’s Interactive approach and reported successes both in planning and in curriculum delivery.

It was unanimously agreed that continued collaboration with Janet and BEAM would be beneficial to the school.

Janet observed that in her wide travels as a consultant she has gained tremendous insight into what works well in Math. She also noted and praised the faculty’s commitment and collegiality and was eager to come back.