Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
During the school's first-ever "Math Fair," Kemp Primary School students showed that academic fairs are not just for science and social studies.
The school's 669 kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders played a variety of math-oriented games during the fair on Friday, ranging from matching geometric shapes with their names, to counting money, to matching clocks with the correct time cards.
"They've worked so hard on learning the [Georgia Performance Standards curriculum] all year long, so we're playing games ... to show them the standards in action," said school Math Coach Jacqueline Wilson. She later added, "They always do science and social studies fairs, so why not a math fair?"
As the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs) approach in a few weeks, Wilson and some of the students at Kemp Primary said the math games will help them do better on the math portion of the test, by giving them a way to remember the topics they will be tested on.
"It's going to help me do good on the test because I learned it [math] by playing these games," said first-grader, Delia Blango, 7.
Wilson added that the games will help the students because they take the math "from abstract, to concrete" by showing them the math in action. "It takes it from the pen and paper, to the real world," she said. "They aren't just writing down these concepts, they are able to see how the math works."
But, overall, the "Math Fair" was first and foremost about having fun, according to students at the school. There were 20 math stations set up in the school's gymnasium, with the games set up at each station tailored to demonstrate a specific Georgia Performance Standard for math.
Aside from dealing with money, geometry and time, the games covered a wide spectrum of math topics, including measurements, counting and graphs.
"I liked all of it," said first-grader, Jamai Appleton, 7. "Math is my favorite subject out of all of them. I'm not sure why that is, but it just is."
Classmate Cameron Wilson, 8, had a similar sentiment about the event, and about math in general. "It was fun," he said. "I like doing math, and studying math."