When Winchester British International School took part in World Maths Day 2022, teachers were in for a surprise.
The response and results exceeded their expectations.
“It was marvellous… it was really competitive between students and teachers from the same year group,” said Sara El Faramawy, the school’s mathematics teacher.
How the school prepared for World Maths Day
Preparation for World Maths Day started a month before the event. Sara explains the process; students from Year 1 and above first log in and play against the computer at their level or a higher level.
“We let them challenge the question, not the time,” she added.
As students were practising, the teachers would check on the questions’ objectives. If students received a question that was not covered in their curriculum, they would receive “lessons and tips on how to answer.”
After a week of practice on Live Mathletics, the next step was for students to compete in groups, where “each group will sit together and try to solve the questions together.”
Finally, they move on to practising individually, where they compete based on their times.
From super mathletes to World Maths Day Hall of Fame
On the event day, students were ready to go and headed to the school’s computer labs to unleash their inner mathletes. Because the whole school was entering at the same time, the teachers even used their own mobile hotspots.
“That’s how much we enjoyed it and how competitive we were,” Sara said, grinning as she told us.
The mathematics teacher also revealed that the students enjoyed it so much that they were disappointed to learn there was only a maximum of 20 challenges for World Maths Day – they wanted to do more!
So it’s no surprise that the students’ high engagement and enthusiasm got them placed on the World Maths Day Hall of Fame leader board.
Sara recalls a breakthrough with one of her students in Year 7, who didn’t like to write.
“I tried to engage him and solve some questions on a worksheet and he was like, ‘Oh no I can’t, I will not do it… I don’t want to do anything like that.’”
But when she introduced Mathletics to him, she “saw the engagement in his eyes.”
The competitive element of the game got him so excited, that he even started teaching his friends how to play.
“He said to his friends, ‘No, no, you just press here. Enter quickly, use the numbers and the right side of your laptop.’ He kept teaching them. It was really a success story. He loved it a lot,” chimed Sara.
Seeing the spike in student engagement and how much fun they were having during World Maths Day, the school was convinced and signed up for a Mathletics subscription for one year.
Unlocking the power of Mathletics
The school integrates and uses the National Curriculum of England and the Cambridge mathematics curriculum. When it comes to building engagement and mathematics instruction, Sara tells us that they have always gone “by the book”.
Before Mathletics, they only relied on resources such as books, worksheets and Google Classrooms. They’ve only used hands-on activities to boost engagement inside and outside the classroom and have never tried any online programs.
This was up until they participated in World Maths Day and discovered the success of Mathletics.
Now, teachers and students can’t get enough of it. They are actively using Mathletics to assign homework after school and during the holidays.
Head of Mathematics, Sally Ramadan says teachers use Mathletics to “assign homework at least once a week” and elaborates how they give students “a lot of Mathletics work and they love it.”
Junior school students are assigned more tasks, while older students are “given Mathletics homework when there’s a mid-term break or Christmas break.”
But that’s not all.
To celebrate and reward students’ efforts and achievements, the school holds monthly ceremonies where they present Mathletics certificates and other gifts to the top three students from each class, in front of the whole school.
The Mathletics difference
“The interaction that the students had during World Maths Day was the main inspiration that we decided to go forward with Mathletics,” Sally reiterated.
“Mathletics proved that it is really successful because we have very weak students in the classrooms and when we introduced them to Mathletics, they really loved it. And they’re doing a great job.”
She adds, “Maybe because it’s something different for them.”
“Sometimes it gives them the answers and they help them and so on. It proved that it’s really successful in our school through last year’s competition and through this year’s Mathletics assigned tasks; they all like it.”