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Mathematics

Welcome to Mathematics 2016

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO PARENTS OF YEAR 7 TO 10 STUDENTS FROM MR WALKER AND THE MATHEMATICS FACULTY

At Merici College, the Mathematics Faculty wants for every student to be growing in mathematical understanding, fluency and confidence. With this in mind, we are proud to be continuing our relationship with Manga High. This web-based program is used to support students’ learning and mastery of mathematical concepts and procedures. As the Studies Co-ordinator of the Mathematics at Merici College, I have been particularly impressed by the immediate feedback the program gives students and the self-adjusting nature of the program; automatically adjusting the difficulty level in response to students’ answers as well as the wealth of information it provides the faculty on how each student is performing and progressing.

In order to take advantage of this potentially powerful resource, opportunities for regular application will be provided by the Mathematics and IMS (Integrated Mathematics and Science) areas. Exercises will be set for every student, every week. These exercises are expected to be completed, at least in part, outside of regular class times as part of each student’s regular pattern of study.

The following is some guidance on how students might get more out of using Manga High at home:

1.     Make sure they have their correct user-name and password.

If this has been forgotten or lost, students may let their teacher know and this information can be retrieved. Students are encouraged to record their user-name and password in their exercise books. The school I.D. is also required and is the same for all students at Merici College: 11103

2.     Students should ALWAYS have a paper and pen when completing exercises.

This gives students the opportunity to write ideas, scribble calculations and draw diagrams to help interpret questions. This ‘trial and error’ process can help students to generate deeper thinking and can be a vital source of diagnostic information for teachers when students need help with a particular process or concept.

3.      Use the “TEACH ME” and “HOW TO PLAY” functions before attempting to PLAY the lesson.

Some students are very eager to jump right in and PLAY, especially those who are sure they know what to do. I would strongly encourage even a confident student to access either the HOW TO PLAY or TEACH ME areas in order to prime their mind for learning. Students who are experiencing difficulties should access BOTH areas before attempting the lesson and use the HINT button that is available in most exercises.

4.      Don’t wait to be told!

Building initiative in mathematics is a powerful way to build confidence and joy in maths. For students that are experiencing difficulty or have missed previous lessons or concepts there are several functions that will assist them. The panel on the left hand side of the home screen has the following:

 

 

Clicking on the ‘Recommended’ tab will take students to exercises which the program has decided are areas of weakness or potential improvement, based on students’ mistakes in previous exercises.

Alternately, if students are aware of a particular area of interest, they may click on the ‘All Challenges’ tab and select exercises from any of the lessons based on the Australian Curriculum, from kindergarten through to year 10, as well as 10A content and extension material.

 

 

 

 

5.     Avoid Distractions

Some students like to listen to music or have multiple tabs open on their computer when studying. Several studies have shown that multi-tasking does not support the learning of Mathematics. Although music may have some positive effects on learning, this is generally music that has no lyrics, has a relaxed tempo and is relatively quiet.

6.     Seek Help

Once a student is completing an exercise (shown below) there are two free hints available and one free solve. Using these hints might mean a student has to have a second attempt at an exercise to receive a bronze medal, however, the aim of the resource is to achieve understanding first, then proficiency and eventually, mastery.

Students’ attempts to complete exercises are monitored by the staff at the school, so when students are repeatedly experiencing problems they may be approached by their teacher to offer assistance.

Students are strongly encouraged to ask for help if they are getting frustrated by a concept or process.

7.    Have Fun

Playing the many games on Manga High is one of the most powerful ways of improving fluency. Students are strongly encouraged to explore these games and to challenge themselves to beat their personal best, but most importantly, to enjoy themselves while learning.

Thank you for taking the time to familiarise yourselves with this resource. We hope that it will continue to be a valuable learning tool for our students here at Merici College. Mr Huckleberry Walker, Mathematics Coordinator

MATHEMATICS NEWS – 2016 SEMESTER 1

Opportunities exist for students to participate in the following events:

Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA)

The Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA) is a staged program designed to help motivate, stimulate, encourage and develop mathematically interested students in Years 3 to 10 to bring forth their talent and potential. The MCYA is an ideal program for extension studies and for students who would benefit from greater challenge.  There are three independent stages in the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians: the Challenge Stage, the Enrichment Stage and the Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO).

MYCA Challenge Three-week program - June (Term  2) 

MCYA Challenge comprises six problems for students in secondary levels. Problems can be discussed in groups of two or three registered students before individual submission of solutions. There are separate problem sets for Junior (Year 7–8) and Intermediate (Year 9–10) students.

MCYA Enrichment  16-week program - April – September

MCYA Enrichment comprises six parallel stages of comprehensive student and teacher support notes. Each student participates in one stage. These programs are designed for students in upper primary and lower to middle secondary school (Years 4–10).

Each stage includes Student Notes designed to be a systematic structured course over the duration of the program, which students can keep for ongoing reference.

The Enrichment stage is independent of the earlier Challenge stage; however, they have the common feature of providing challenging mathematics problems for students.

The stages are in order of difficulty with general year level recommendations: Dirichlet (Years 6–7), Euler (Years 7–8), Gauss (Years 8–9), Noether (very able students in Years 9–10) and Polya (top 10% Year 10).  Dirichlet has 8 problems, Euler and Gauss have 12 problems, and Noether and Polya have 16 problems.

Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO) - Tuesday 6 September

This four-hour examination is an open event for talented students up to Year 10 level, appropriate for those who have completed the Gauss or Noether stage, high achievers in the Australian Mathematics Competition and students who have acquired knowledge of Olympiad problem solving.

The AIMO is one of the competitions used to determine which students are selected to a number of invitation only events, including other mathematics competitions, enrichment classes and training schools and is conducted in schools under exam conditions. It runs for four hours. Students work on their own and may not use calculators, electronic devices or other aids.

Maths Competitions

Australian Maths Competition - Thursday 28 July 2016 – Years 7 to 12

The Australian Mathematics Competition is a 75 minute multiple choice exercise with a focus on problem solving. You do not have to be mathematically gifted to enter this competition.

UNSW Competition - Wednesday 8 June – Years 7 to 12

The UNSW Maths Competition is a three hour challenge for students who really excel at Mathematics.

Please contact Mr Brady at Terry.Brady@merici.act.edu.au for further information or to indicate your daughter’s interest in participating in any of the above competitions.

THE STUDY OF MATHEMATICS AT MERICI COLLEGE

Mathematics at Merici College develops an understanding of the intrinsic beauty of mathematics and its use of reasoning, pattern proofs, logic and structure. As well as academic mathematics we encourage students to develop skills that underpin commercial and domestic decision-making in a spirit of both honesty and confidence. They are taught to learn mathematics co-operatively, and are exposed to the idea that all children have the ability to learn mathematics. Mathematics pervades much of modern life and will continue to do so in the future.  Citizens of the future will need to be able to locate, analyse and select information and apply their learning to solve problems, distinguish between truth and falsehood, monitor data and adapt their own adult learning. At Merici we have a vision to prepare our students well for this future.

Mathematics Years 7 & 8

Mathematics is compulsory for all students in Years 7 to 10.

Mathematics education:

  • allows students to develop competency in mathematical skills and processes.
  • engages students in activities designed to develop their concepts and skills.
  • assists students to be creative, intuitive and inquisitive.
  • challenges students while providing a sense of enjoyment and achievement.
  • allows students to reflect, discuss, and consider the knowledge they are accumulating and its relevance to their future learning.
  • provides opportunities for students to develop their formal mathematical language from its informal beginnings.
  • enables students to appreciate the importance and usefulness of mathematics in other areas of learning.
  • underpins problem solving strategies for future challenges in a wide variety of prospective careers.

In Year 7 students study Integrated Mathematics & Science. Educational research supports the integration of these subjects which are traditionally distinct in high schools. It allows students structured opportunities to transfer knowledge from one area to the other and apply theoretical understanding to learning situations. Teachers work in pairs connected to each class to deliver the Integrated Maths and Science curriculum. Federal directions, however, require that students receive seperate grades and reports for Maths and Science.

In Year 8, students at Merici cover the topics in Mathematics: