Often, additional learning support focuses on helping students who struggle; however, an opportunity was created to target those that excel in math in Western School Division (WSD). Eleven grade six École Morden Middle School students had the opportunity to learn math through a Math Enrichment Program.  

Numeracy Coach Korina Peters explained. 

"We are letting students pick areas of interest or passion and allowing them time and opportunity to dig deeper into those areas, looking at it through a mathematical lens. So, looking to see where there is math involved in my passion or my interests or things that I want to learn about. So, it's a little bit different, but it's very student-directed, they're leading us, we're just assisting them along the way." 

EMMS students presented to the WSD Board of Trustees in March.EMMS students presented to the WSD Board of Trustees in March.

The students were selected through various forms of data, along with teacher recommendations. 

"We had a couple of gentlemen looking into understanding curveballs and pitching and how math is involved in making that ball curve and of course, obviously there's a fair bit of physics involved in that as well, so, where math and science overlap."  

Several community members such as an Architect James Francis, Geoff Sutton (baseball), Samuel Jerima (soccer), and someone who helped a student find math in crocheting were invited to be part of the learning.  

"We had groups digging deeper into architecture, so looking at more of the geometry area of mathematics and trying to understand how shapes work together to create strength and structures, size and measurements, and all those components of architecture and thinking about how to design things so that they function well." 

Finding math in crocheting.Finding math in crocheting.

Peters puts information in school newsletters every month to support parents in their child's learning. She said the best thing to do is to find teachable moments and to ask the student to explain how they are thinking mathematically about the problem, not to just find the answer but to work on the strategy to solve it. 

"We use math in our lives every single day. That's one of the things that's been really interesting about when we've been working with the enrichment group at the middle school. Every single one of them on their journey has said to me, 'I can't believe how much math there is involved in this.' So, sometimes we don't even realize all the things we're doing that involve mathematics. I want them to all realize they are math people, and they can think mathematically." 

Architect James Francis works with EMMS student to find math in architecture.