As part of the Bevan Werry Speaker position, I was fortunate to travel to the beautiful Far North to give some talks to teachers and run outreach. This trip was a year in the making, after a COVID cancellation. I was the keynote speaker for two teacher conferences, sharing my thoughts on why the maths curriculum needs to change (a corresponding article will be published soon), as well running a workshop sharing two outreach games: a simplified version of NIM and Brussel Sprouts.
What I love about these games is that they epitomize the process of logical reasoning in a really engaging and fun way. Both games are easily adjusted depending on the student, are interactive and encourage group work, yet are still suitable for students who prefer to work independently. The week of outreach was incredibly rewarding – I got to play these games with 250 Māori and Pasifika Y7-Y10 students, many of whom struggled or were disengaged with school maths, but loved the games! The majority of students continued playing through the breaks, and I even managed to get a big group of disruptive Y10 boys (who were wagging another class) to join in, and they stayed for two hours! Feedback from both the students and teachers was really encouraging and I’m looking forward to going back again next year and reaching more schools! Huge thanks to all the students and teachers who participated, especially to Helen Teal and Rochelle Telfer, who organized everything to run so smoothly.
Some teacher feedback:
"It was amazing to see how engaged our students were, and how they loved the activities, and then to see the “realisation” on their faces that they are actually using math skills, and doing math without realising it. Great workshop!!"
"Our students really enjoyed the activity. I was surprised to see their perseverance and engagement for such an extended period. We also had comments that “This is much better than maths” Jasmine shared some very powerful messages about students' ability to do maths and related well to students. "
"I thought the sessions were wonderful. Jasmine set games/challenges that had the students totally engaged and focussed on coming up with a winning strategy. The questioning and prompts she used were really good and it was lovely to see how easily and seamlessly she extended those students who needed it or who “finished early”. Good to see the use of hands on materials too."