A Student’s Perspective on a Math Collaboration

Isabella-Marie participated in a Math Collaboration created and run by Girls’ Angle at her school in November, 2018. She wrote about it for her school’s journal, The Spark. The article below is reprinted with permission from the Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols School and the author, Isabella-Marie Selden from the Winter 2018-2019 edition of The Spark, page 5. For more information on Girls’ Angle Math Collaborations, visit our website.

Girls Math Collaborative

by Isabella-Maria Selden

In November, the Girl’s Math Collaborative took place once again. The Collaborative is an annual event where girls in the Middle School come together to solve a variety of math problems to unlock a prize.

I participated in my first math collaborative last year. When I was first introduced to the idea, it sounded intriguing. But math is not my strongest subject, and I was tentative to sign up because of this. Regardless, I ended up joining and having the best time.

First, we were greeted with loads of food ranging from cheese and crackers to Oreos and fruit. We then received multiple packets of math problems, and another sheet to write our final answers on. The answer sheet helped to arrange the answers so they corresponded to another puzzle, that would eventually give clues to the lock combination needed to unlock the prizes. Once we solved all the problems on the packet and put them on the answer sheet, we were beyond proud of each other – but another problem stood in our way: the lock itself di not have any numbers. We proceeded to understand how the answer sheet corresponded to the lock, and we eventually succeeded and opened the chest with many surprised inside.

In addition to the math, the biggest aspect of the collaborative is teamwork. Since many problems and puzzles are built off of previous ones, if one question is answered incorrectly, the whole solving process can lead in the wrong direction. As a result, the girls were constantly working with peers to check answers, or to split up into groups to tackle different sets of problems.

It was amazing to see the teamwork between the girls; some were writing on the board together, others were carefully checking their math, and when someone ran out of ideas, other people involved would help that person to think of a new solution. I was so glad to be participating in this experience, and who knew math could be so fun?

The next math collaborative will take place on February 27th. Although it is fully booked, there will be many opportunities to join (for the current seventh graders) next year!

 

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