Math Catcher Festival
WHO: We invite Grade 4-5 students to create their own Small Number stories and present them in the format of their choice: a picture book; a comic; a video; a powerpoint presentation with a voice over; a play; a poster; a computer game; or any other way or medium that fits their ideas.
The creation may be produced by an individual student or a group of students.
We are looking for short stories which demonstrate the following: that mathematics is applicable in real life; that young people like Small Number encounter mathematics and require knowledge of it on a daily basis; that mathematics can be interesting; and that mathematics can be used to solve real-life problems; and the stories should be playful and promote kin and friendship in Indigenous settings.
WHEN/WHERE/WHAT: The Festival will be held on Friday, June 12, 2020, on the SFU Burnaby Campus. The day will be filled with various activities including mathematical demonstrations, presentations of the different Small Number films, group and individual activities with members of the SFU Indigenous community, and nutrition breaks. The main part of the Festival will be the showcase of student-created Small Number stories. A selection of the admitted stories will be posted on the Math Catcher website and their authors will be recognized. All participants will get a Math Catcher Festival certificate.
HOW: The Festival registration form will go live in January 2020. Until then, for any additional information, please contact Veselin Jungic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are pleased to announce a new initiative in the Math Catcher Outreach Program and to invite Grade 4-5 teachers and their students from across British Columbia to participate.
WHAT: The First Math Catcher Festival is a celebration of students' imagination and creativity and their knowledge of mathematics and Indigenous cultures and traditions.
The Festival and associated activities are based on the belief that storytelling, accompanied by pictures and open-ended questions, helps students experience mathematics in action and encourages young people to enjoy math. This belief is one of the pillars of the Math Catcher Outreach Program and it is the central piece of each story and animated film in the Small Number series.
This initiative is inspired by the teaching practices of Ms. Alana Underwood, an elementary school teacher from Coquitlam, BC. Alana describes her practices in an article that is available here.
WHY: The Small Number films incorporate problem-solving and Indigenous traditions into three to four-minute-long animated stories. Small Number is a young Indigenous boy who has an impressive aptitude for mathematics – and also a proclivity for getting into trouble.
Just as importantly, the stories aim to promote Indigenous culture. Of course, Indigenous culture is not a singular, cohesive set of beliefs and practices, but a myriad of traditional and modern values and practices. As a result, Small Number’s adventures take place in different physical contexts in different Indigenous communities, and yet the clever, playful protagonist remains the same.
- Terri Galligos, Resource Teacher, Aboriginal Education, SD Coquitlam
- Pamela Hagen, Teacher (Retired)
- Veselin Jungic, Professor, Simon Fraser University
- Alana Underwood, Teacher, École Kilmer Elementary School, Port Coquitlam, BC
- Jennifer Whiffin, Learning Support Teacher - Numeracy, SD Coquitlam