Teachers making maths fun with Eddie Woo Nambucca Valley Nambucca Valley News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - May 29, 2022 Eddie Woo posing a problem to students EDDIE Woo, the leader of Mathematics Growth at the NSW Department of Education, teacher at Cherrybrook High School and well-known mathematics Youtuber, visited Nambucca Heads High School on Tuesday 24 May. Part of this visit saw Eddie running a session with Year 7 students, where he demonstrated his love of teaching mathematics with the aim to create enthusiasm for learning maths in the pupils he teaches. During the session Mr Woo reflected back on how he learnt mathematics in school. Just like many of us this was usually straight from the textbook. For many students this method of teaching mathematics does not make learning easy, whereas the approach that Mr Woo and the NSW Department of Education (NSWDOE) are implementing, is aimed at making the learning interesting by making it fun and engaging. Mr Woo explained the NSWDOE’s Mathematics Growth Strategy to News Of The Area. “The overarching purpose simply is that we want students to have the best possible experience of mathematics. “The Mathematics Growth team is about supporting teachers to use engaging and effective teaching practices in the classroom so that kids are interested in maths and are also equipped to learn. “We want to have students who want to go to the highest level of mathematics possible. “They are not going to do that if they are not motivated,” Mr Woo said. Simon Bogert, a trainer in the NSW Mathematics Growth Team currently working from Nambucca Heads High, said the NSWDOE’s Mathematics Strategy is aimed at “helping with ways to engage students in mathematics”. “To make it playful in a different way,” Mr Bogert said. “There are many different ways to deliver the maths curriculum. “It is always good to get an expert like Eddie Woo to help design this delivery. “It is great to have someone to promote that mathematics can be fun.” That is certainly what Mr Woo was promoting to the Year 7 students. Mr Woo said to the attentive and focused group, “Mathematics is about playfulness and exploration.” The students were provided with a game, number boxes, and the students were all completely engaged and having fun, with the time for the game allowed during the session. Mr Woo followed this fun game with an exploration of how people keep climbing Mt Everest, presenting the mathematics about the height of Mt Everest and the relationship this had to the reduction in oxygen. He suggested that it was human nature to want to explore, that this is a natural instinctive behaviour. Connecting this to mathematics learning, Mr Woo suggested that if a student feels lost when learning something mathematical, rather than this meaning they aren’t good at mathematics, it meant that they were exploring maths, and in fact learning. Mr Woo encouraged all the students to have fun and explore when they were engaged with mathematics. The current NSW Mathematics Growth Strategy will see the team working with schools in and around the Nambucca Valley, plus other schools across the state, for two years to provide professional learning to teachers in both secondary and primary schools to improve mathematics teaching and student outcomes. By Rachel MCGREGOR-ALLEN Students and teachers engaged at Nambucca Heads High School.