Holly Simmons says she tries to make her Elkin Elementary sixth graders look at math outside the textbook and see the excitement and the every-day application in arithmetic.
As part of her class, students take part in a statewide “math logo” contest, designed to make children aware of what math has to offer besides addition and subtraction. Kids are placed into groups and prepare colorful posters to illustrate math is a part of their everyday surroundings in ways they likely would not expect.
“The goal is to entice kids to like math,” Simmons said. “Math is fun; it’s not just sitting behind a desk solving problems. Math is everywhere.”
Simmons says she wants her students to think outside the box when it comes to math, she said. In addition to the students expanding their own views of math, she hopes the posters will intrigue younger kids about math in the world around them.
In addition to the academic benefits to the poster contest, the students’ artwork is part of a bigger art project known as the “Math Logo Contest,” sponsored by the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The Council holds the contest annually, with the winning poster becoming the logo for the NCCTM for a year. This year’s winner will be the design for the 2013-2014 year.
This is Mrs. Simmons’ class’ fifth year of competition. All 71 of her students had a hand in the making of a poster, in addition to smaller posters each student designed. The smaller designs are displayed outside Simmons’ classroom.
The NCCTM winners from 1998-2012 are all available on the Council’s website, at www.ncctm.org/logo_contest.cfm.
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