Each summer, Muncie community elementary school children join Ball State students for the Summer Math Enrichment Program. Children work through various activities designed to promote their interest in mathematics and to build their confidence.
Making Math Fun
Assistant Lecturer of Mathematical Sciences Cheryl Kneubuhler and students in her Teaching and Learning Mathematics in the Elementary School class work with over 100 school-aged children. Using hands-on materials like hula hoops, snap cubes, pattern blocks, and tangrams, children explore and solve math problems in fun and creative ways. Elementary education major, Natalie Shively hopes to have a big impact on the children, “I hope through the Summer Math Enrichment Program, I am able to facilitate my classroom of second graders by engaging them in the learning process but also having fun at the same time. Math is easily subjected to being “boring” or “too hard.” I want to transform their thinking and views on mathematics and bring about a sense of wonder and excitement when they’re collaborating with one another, and discovering the answers, or multiple answers, to what’s being asked of them.”
Preparing Future Teachers
Opportunities at Ball State, like the Summer Enrichment Program, prepare college students for the challenges they’ll face in the classroom as teachers. Students learn in real-world environments. Aubrey Meister, an elementary education major, is glad for the hands-on learning experiences the Summer Enrichment Program provides. She says,
“I have not had an opportunity to teach math. I think that teaching math in the enrichment program will allow me to gain useful experience in teaching these concepts. The Summer Math Enrichment program will also help me to feel more comfortable teaching math, which will be helpful when I begin student teaching.”
Cheryl Kneubuhler says of the class, “The Summer Math Enrichment Program benefits BSU elementary education majors, because they get to teach actual math lessons to children from the Muncie area. It benefits the children, as the lessons are focused on enrichment, inquiry, and problem solving.” The Department of Mathematical Sciences is proud to support a program that benefits local elementary students and provides valuable teaching experience for our college students.