Education and Arts

Learning for Life Mathematics project

Twenty-five ACU Ballarat pre-service teachers recently made an important contribution towards assisting children in learning mathematics successfully. Supervised by Dr Ann Gervasoni, a Senior Lecturer in the faculty of Education and Arts, the pre-service teachers;

  • Held three after school mathematics clubs for 60 children,
  • Designed individual learning plans for 22 children who had undergone a Mathematics Assessment Interview,
  • Organised a parent mathematics workshop.

The pre-service teachers completed these activities as part of a project which forms part of the 'Numeracy in Early Years' elective offered in the Undergraduate Teaching degree. The project titled, The Ballarat Learning for Life Mathematics Project, is an ACU community engagement activity, organised by Dr Gervasoni in partnership with The Smith Family, Lumen Christi Primary School, Phoenix College Redan Campus and Sebastopol Primary School.

Maths Clubs
As part of the Ballarat Learning for Life Mathematics project, the ACU pre-service teachers conducted three 10 week after school maths clubs for approximately 60 children. Each pre-service teacher worked as a maths buddy for 2-3 students developing a specialised curriculum centred on games specifically aimed at improving the confidence and knowledge of the children.

Parents, teachers, children and pre-service teachers alike are thrilled with the positive and mutually beneficial outcomes that have resulted from the maths clubs. The pre-service teachers have appreciated the opportunity the practical experience has afforded them as well as having the opportunity to use all they have been learning and researching to directly impact the community.

The Mathematics Assessment Interview Day
The pre-service teachers assessed 22 children during the school holidays in April. The assessments were held at ACU's Ballarat campus to give the children and their families a University experience. During the day, the families were shown around the University and for most families; this was their first visit to a University.

The children loved the experience of the interview day as well as demonstrating their mathematical knowledge to their maths buddies. At the end of the day, the children were issued with certificates to mark the occasion.

Parent Mathematics Workshops
Another activity the pre-service teachers did was researching, planning and running a parent mathematics workshop. Designed to assist parents in helping their children learn mathematics at home, the workshop was focused on number concepts, addition and subtraction strategies, multiplication and division strategies, measuring time, measuring length, measuring mass and geometry.

The pre-service teachers produced brochures that provided ideas for parents to use at home and also issued them with a certificate to acknowledge their participation.

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