Grade 1 Class Hosts Math Games at Onslow Elementary

Students sitting at two tables playing math games with teachers going around to help out

One small thing today and a little bit more tomorrow. A concerted caring effort over time. That’s all it takes for big results. But, if you’re an elementary math teacher you already know… that it is the little-ones that count.

– Jeff Harvey, Math Consultant for the WQSB

International Math Day, also known as Pi Day (3.14), is celebrated by schools across the WQSB in a variety of ways, and at a bright and cheerful little school in Quyon, QC, Selina Gervais’s grade 1 class celebrated by hosting math games for their fellow K4 and grade 5 peers. Of course, they ate pie at Onslow Elementary School as well!

The idea to host these games came directly from the students during a morning meeting and sharing circle. Building relationships among students from different classrooms is a key feature of the school that is practiced throughout the year.  Mixed-class groups go on nature walks together, take several trips to the local library, and regularly participate in schoolwide activities.  In January, Ms. Gervais’ class showed the k4s and grade 3/4s how to use the Lego Spike Robotics kits.  When the grade 1 class’s Math Games idea was pitched to the teachers of the k4 and grade 5 classes, it was met with delight and the preparations began!

The math games chosen were already staples in Ms. Gervais’ classroom, and the grade 1 students felt confident and excited to take on the role of teacher. They helped Ms. Gervais organize the event and added in an extra challenge to all the games for the grade 5 students. “They couldn’t believe it when I told them they would be teaching GRADE 5 students! A sister of one of my students is in grade 5, and she was beyond proud of him,” shares Ms. Gervais.

As well as fostering community within the school, these types of activities showcase that math can be fun, interactive, and collaborative. Incorporating these qualities into any topic enriches the learning experience, and giving students a chance to teach their peers is an empowering experience that reveals how we are all teachers as well as students— when one teaches, two learn.

Next year, Ms. Gervais would love for the whole school to be involved by setting up math game stations in each classroom for International Math Day. These stations could be run by each homeroom teacher or by students.  She described how students could move around in the school in their ‘Spirit Groups’ (assigned groups of students from multiple grades for the school year) to experience the different stations in each classroom.

Special thank you to Selina Gervais for providing the information for this article and for the providing the last two photos.

Print Article

Back to News