Making the Most of Math Bridge: A Note to Principals and Teachers
Since we rolled out in November 2000, we've been speaking with teachers, principals and volunteers to find out what worked well, and where we can improve. Here are a few recommendations that may help make our next visit better still:
1.Tell us what your class is doing in math.
Let us know what your class will be doing before our volunteers next visit. The more we know about your class, in particular, the more our groups of volunteers can design a presentation that touches on the materials in your class. To give us feedback, please go to the Contact Us page.
We will get the information to the group of volunteers who will visit your class. Since the same group of volunteers will visit your class throughout the year, we'd encourage you to establish a direct line of communication with the group when they next visit.
2.Meet before class with our volunteers.
Math Bridge volunteers plan to do two things when they visit: first, to give a 10-15 minute presentation of "real world" applications of math; and second, to work with small groups of children on work that you have assigned.
The key is to discuss your objectives with the volunteers. Most importantly, Math Bridge volunteers are there to help you with your class. In this regard, the highlight of their visit is typically their interaction, in small groups, with the children. To help them help you, we'd ask that you introduce the volunteers to the children, and perhaps put name tags on the kids, so that our volunteers can address them directly.
3.Give our volunteers feedback throughout the visit.
Most of our volunteers have not spent a lot of time speaking at elementary schools. We'd thus ask that you give them advice on how best to interact with your students, and do so throughout their visit.
Math Bridge sends undergraduate and graduate students into the elementary schools to mentor children in math. Working in teams alongside teachers and principals, our volunteers make presentations on how math is used to fly rockets, write software, or calculate the demand for a particular type of toy in North America, for example.