Overview of the Dominican Campus Maths Eyes Project 2012

Overview of the Dominican Campus Maths Eyes Project 2012
A Maths Eyes Project was undertaken by students, parents and teachers from the
Ballyfermot Dominican Campus schools featuring real life maths from our Ballyfermot
Community.Our aim was to work together to develop our ‘Maths Eyes’. But what did that
actually mean?
The idea of ‘Maths Eyes’ began with Dr Terry Maguire from IT Tallaght when she decided to
develop a project to build confidence in maths in all members of the community. Everybody
uses mathematics in their life, but they don’t usually call it mathematics. These ‘everyday’
mathematical skills often involve the use of complicated mathematical skills and techniques.
People often underestimate their mathematical abilities because they often consider the
maths they do as ‘common sense’ and the maths they can’t do as ‘mathematics’. By
developing ‘Maths Eyes’ everyone can discover the mathematics that surround them and
that they use in everyday life. In September Ciaran O’ Sullivan from IT Tallaght came to talk
to us about opening our ‘Maths Eyes’ and we decided to do our own ‘Maths Eyes’ project
here in Ballyfermot to develop our confidence in our own abilities around mathematics.
So what did we do then? Over the next two weeks 3rd class students from the primary
schools and Transition Year students from the secondary schools along with Parents,
teachers and Home School Liaison Co-ordinators went out into the community – specifically
Markievicz Park, the church, the school campus and the shops - to explore whether or not
we could find evidence of maths in our community. We had digital cameras to take pictures
of the maths that were all around us. In about one hour we had taken hundreds of pictures.
We quickly realised that maths really are everywhere when you open your eyes. The next
week we selected the best pictures and came up with captions and maths descriptions for
each poster.
The following week St Dominic’s, St Gabriel’s, St Raphael’s and St Michael’s schools invited
parents, students, teachers and representatives from schools and organisations in our
wider Ballyfermot community as well as from national organisations and IT Tallaght to a
show case of our ‘Maths Eyes Project’. We have submitted our final 27 posters to the
national Maths Eyes competition.
But or course now that we have opened our maths eyes its really only he beginning. We
plan to share our learning experience with other schools in the community and to use our
posters as a learning resource with other students within the schools. In the next few weeks
in St Dominic’s the TY students will work with first years to develop their maths eyes and we
plan to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. In the primary schools the children
from the three Third Classes will share the successes of this project with their whole school
so that all children in all classes can open their maths eyes. The posters were uploaded on
the shared network in the three schools so that they can be used a resource for teaching
mental maths on a daily basis.
Project team: Ms Flanagan and Ms Mc Govern from the Dominican Primary Schools, Ms
Rocheford and Ms Bradley from St Dominic’s Secondary school along with parents, all the
third class students from the primary schools and class 4 Dominic from the secondary
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