“Ooh! Aah! The mighty mighty mathletes!” Prospect Elementary School students chanted in triumph while beating the air with their fists.
The scene is exactly what Oberlin school board member Ken Stanley envisioned when he founded the Du Bois Project 10 years ago.
He said children learn best when they’re active, evident by the gaggle of fourth- and fifth-graders we found running from station to station solving math challenges.
Children who love math learn math, Stanley said. That’s why he started Fraction Club, which aims to make the subject fun by emphasizing positive thinking and using role models, which is where Oberlin College comes in.
The college’s men and women’s basketball teams volunteered weekly through the month of January to guide students through math challenges such as “Multiplication Madness.” Teaming up with older players instills confidence in the young students.
Maggie Gross, a player on the Yeowomen team, said the process is rewarding. “I definitely didn’t have anything like this when I was in elementary school and math wasn’t the most exciting thing,” she said. ” The kids learn a lot and it’s fun to make math fun.”
For fourth-grader Breanna McConeghy, math was already fun before Fraction Club started at her school. She said she practices her multiplication at home using flash cards.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.