During Term 3, students at Marsden SS in QLD have been participating in a Mathletics Mastery competition. Designed to develop and increase mastery through a long term focus on achievement of results, students are focusing on mastering maths at their ability level. The winning classes are those with the greatest number of topics mastered over the term.
This initiative is the brainchild of Teacher Glenn Bruce who was inspired to invigorate student participation as a whole school activity at Marsden. Initially trialling with a single Class v Class competition, Glenn offered the winning class a ‘Fun Tasks Only’ Day, while the unsuccessful class would have a regular school day. The trial was clearly successful with a significant increase in student mastery, participation and Certification.
Buoyed by the success of the trial, the school decided to take the competition wider. Having obtained support from the ICT Team and the Principal, a marketing plan and competition schedule were developed. It was considered essential that this project was marketed and managed well and that all parties including management, teachers, students, and parents were aware of and supportive of the event. Marketing included short ‘how to’ videos for both teachers and students which were shared via Ed Studio (view student video). Parental involvement has been maximised by informing parents through the school’s digital newsletter and Facebook site. Literacy and Numeracy coaches have been offering Mathletics coaching to teachers.
As the Mathletics Coordinator at his school, Glenn has found the management of the competition to be dead easy. School reporting enables weekly data results to be run on a class level; and also on an individual level.
Each week at Assembly, Glenn updates classes with the competition progress. The two individuals with the highest number of topics mastered become the week’s custodians of Mathletics ‘Super Mathlete’ trophies. Teachers are kept up to date with competition progress via a weekly email and spreadsheet.
The school has organised prizes across three categories: Laptop Classes (4,5,6), Junior Classes (1,2,3) and Non-Laptop Classes (4,5,6). As you can see from the attached flyer, the prize is a whole day of fun activities. Two classes from each of the three categories will win.
Early results indicate a significant increase in participation amongst both students and teachers. The number of topics mastered has clearly been boosted; and awarding of certificates has never been higher at the school. Competition between classes, teachers and students is enthusiastic and contributing to an even more positive school culture.
The ultimate motivation for Marsden SS is a desire to increase academic results in numeracy. They employ a range of strategies to boost numeracy at Marsden, but according to Glenn Bruce, a deliberate focus on mastering learning makes a lot of sense.
We’ll be following up with Marsden SS later in the term for an update and look forward to hearing and hopefully seeing what they have achieved!