Professor of Mathematics at Spelman College

Photos from a recent visit to 6th class by Colm Mulcahy, Professor of Mathematics at Spelman College, Atlanta, USA. Professor Mulcahy is widely known for his use of mind-boggling math-based card tricks and has the nickname "Card Colm". He kept our sixth class students and teachers enthralled with an hour of fun maths and left us all eager to try out some of his tricks. It just goes to show that Maths is not all hard slog but can be an entertainment in itself. Many thanks to Shane Dowdall of the Maths Department, DKIT for bringing Professor Mucahy to us. We are delighted with our close connections to the Maths and Science departments of DKIT and grateful for their continued interest in our students.
Btw - can anyone guess, from a close study of the photos, on which day of the year this visit took place. Hint- check out the student's faces!


Counter Attack

Here in St Joseph’s N.S. we have a special focus on the teaching and learning of mathematics. Having taken notice of national concerns regarding disappointing results in standardized tests in maths, we decided to analyse our own results and aim to improve our students’ scores in these tests.

In 2009, following analysis of test results and a survey of both teachers and students, we embarked on our new maths initiative called… 

Counter Attack

maths ideas

Some of the activities included in this initiative are

  • A small team of teachers leading the initiative
  • Additional professional training for teachers in Maths Recovery
  • An intense focus on the Number Strand of the Mathematics Curriculum
  • Introduction of Station Teaching in Maths from 1st class upwards
  • Investment in additional resources and materials for small group work
  • Introduction of school-designed class-level tests at Christmas and Easter
  • Focus on Assessment of Learning (AoL) and Assessment for Learning (AfL)
  • Whole-school focus on maths for fun during National Maths Week
  • Design of Maths Trails and Maths Quizzes suitable to our students and premises
  • Emphasis on Mental Maths throughout school. Daily drills (5-10 mins)
  • Emphasis on encouraging students to become Reflective Learners
  • Team teaching for maths at senior level
  • Teacher attendance at maths conferences and workshops
  • Involvement of parents in maths homework workshops
  • Involvement of parents in Maths Games Day (Dice and Card games for all ages)
Counter Attack
We have been delighted with improved scores in standardized tests over the past 3 years and with the increased confidence of our students in this area of the curriculum