Sinéad Boland , Home School Community Liaison Co-ordinator from Portlaoise College along with Amy Mullally, TY Maths teacher, Andrea Fitzharris, a student teacher and the Transition Year students all worked in conjunction with Deirdre Delaney, HSCL Co-ordinator in Scoil Bhride National School and the 3rd class pupils, teachers and parents on a numeracy initiativ; “Maths Eyes 2015”.
“Have you got Maths Eyes” was initially launched in 2011 by Dr.Terry Maguire at The Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin. In efforts to overcome traditional pre-existing views of maths being complicated incomprehensible tasks, she developed the concept of “Maths Eyes” the discovery of maths in everyday lives. In an aim to build confidence in, and a positive image of Maths; “Have you got Maths Eyes” encourages the community to make the link between maths and the real world we live in for example the shapes seen in a building, the true cost of products on offer.
Since its launch, various towns across the country have introduced the scheme to their schools and communities. This is the second year the project has been run by Portlaoise College and Scoil Bhride National School.
It is a community based scheme that combines the work of staff and transition year students from Portlaoise College with staff, 3rd class students and their parents from Scoil Bride. Over the last number of months there have been a number of co-operative events run as part of the project, most notably on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th February the Maths Eyes Photographs were taken around Portlaoise town. These days were very successful and saw staff, students and a large number of parents come together, and take photographs of a place/item they saw that contained maths. Hundreds of photographs were taken and associated maths questions suggested, these photos will be enlarged and printed as posters for presentation purposes and also as maths resources for teachers to use in the future.
On Friday 20th March at Treo Nua Resource Centre, Harpurs Lane, Portlaoise the official launch of “Maths Eyes 2015” took place between 10am-12pm. Parties involved and members of the public saw a display of all the hard work from all who assisted in the project.
This event was a celebration of a combined community effort to build confidence in maths knowledge and skills for lifelong learning. From feedback of students and parents involved it is true to say all those who took part, truly could see Mathematics in a different way – the everyday. The launch also created awareness of the initiative and support for further events held. This year saw an increasing number of parents compared to last year. It is essential, especially with the introduction of project maths to the Junior Certificate curriculum in recent years that children foster a positive attitude towards maths. This can be assisted through initiatives like Maths Eyes at an early school age. Their learning can be supported by parents who are confident in their own ability at maths. Maths eyes events such as photograph trails are an effective way to reintroduce those parents who feel they are weak at the subject or even those out in the education system some time back into the world of maths in a fun active everyday way, that you share with your child.
5th March is Ireland’s 17th World Book Day – a day to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. The First Year students have a book in their bags and there will be an announcement over the intercom to Drop Everything and Read for 20 minutes in random classes. The school library will be open at lunch time if they want to continue their reading in there. Their English teachers/tutors will give them a book token and they can collect their free book from Easons, Portlaoise after school.
Parents are invited to come to read in our parents’ room throughout the day. Sinéad Boland, HSCL Co-ordinator will bring you on a tour of the library in our school at 12pm.