Can ST Math make your school year experience incredible? Absolutely. Since it was such an action-packed year, we wanted to round up all the highlights from across the country to celebrate our community of creative problem solvers.
Lake Forest Elementary Takes Over Our Instagram
We began the ST Math Back to School celebration with an epic day of fun with the Lake Forest Dolphins in California. Their math department put together a wonderful Instagram takeover to show how they're getting back into the groove of learning! Watch the full takeover.
Getting your classroom ready for the new school year can be so much fun! It's also an excellent opportunity to introduce your class to the fun mathematical adventure they'll soon embark on. We kicked off 2021-2022 with the ST Math bulletin board decorating contest. Our social feeds were flooded with so many beautiful masterpieces; it was a tough decision to name our three winners. If you want to see more of these boards, check out the hashtag #STMathB2S on Twitter and Instagram.
You know what we say, "time spent on ST Math is time spent learning." One of the most effective ways to motivate your class to meet their minute and puzzle targets is to turn ST Math time into a class or school-wide challenge. We begin each school year with our month-long ST Math Fall Challenge. This fun activity dramatically increases ST Math usage and helps students get back into the swing of problem solving after the long summer break.
We're a very creative bunch over here on MIND's Engagement team. We constantly challenge ourselves to think outside the box when discussing fun ways to integrate math concepts into holiday celebrations. When we brainstormed ideas for Thanksgiving, we had to get our families involved! Watch these five delicious and mathematical Thanksgiving Math Activities you can do next fall or any time of year!
Hitting the ground running in the new calendar year after returning from a relaxing and fun winter break can be challenging. That's why we began 2022 with a national challenge to motivate students to waddle towards their puzzle goals. The Winter Waddle focused on puzzle completion instead of minutes. We set the minimum threshold for 50 puzzles, but schools across the country crushed that goal in the first week.
There were so many memorable moments at our national user conference, Next Level Learning. We had the pleasure of virtually sharing with over 500 educators all the wonderful things happening at schools using ST Math. Listen to VP of Curriculum and Instruction, Twana Young, deliver the closing speech.
Feel the Love
February is the month of love, and JiJi wanted to inspire students to love math even more. We created a bunch of free printables to celebrate the month, including these cute JiJi grams teachers and students could exchange to tell each other how they feel.
Team Texas made a huge splash at this year's Texas Computer Education Association Conference (TCEA) in Dallas. We spoke with several ST Math teachers and even captured some on the JiJi cam. We also had an eight-foot-tall inflatable JiJi that was the star of the show.
The students at Los Nietos crushed their puzzle goals during their district's spring break challenge. As a special treat, JiJi came to visit for a day of dancing, awards and fun! We also had the opportunity to talk with students and ask them what they loved about ST Math. Here's what they had to say:
Texas Math Week Sets New Records
The first-ever statewide Math Week happened in Texas back in March. Families from all over the state read MathMINDs stories and played fun games like Turtles Sums and Kraal Animals all from the comfort of their homes.
Pi Day is an enshrined tradition here at MIND. Over the years, our colleagues have whipped up some delicious pies combined with an informative math lesson on the mathematical constant, pi. Take a look at all these wonderful and creative Pi Day activities.
We were honored to have been selected to host a discussion at SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas. MIND's VP of Curriculum and Instruction, Twana Young, was joined by education specialist, Kayla Mack. In their presentation "Cultivating Mathematicians: When DEI Drives Design," the two discussed ways to make math education more equitable and accessible for all students.
Did you know that in addition to solving math problems, JiJi loves basketball? That's why this year, we launched our first-ever March Madness-inspired challenge, #MarchMathness. Throughout March and into early April, schools completed their brackets and exceeded their puzzle targets! Take a look at this bracket from Sonora Elementary in Springdale, Arkansas.
If we had our way, every day would be JiJi Day! This year was extra special as we celebrated 25 years of our problem-solving penguin guiding students in their math journey. We traveled to Kenner, Louisiana, to meet Principal John Starr and the students of Benson Elementary. On JiJi Day, they took over our Instagram account and shared their wonderful problem-solving community with us. You can watch the entire highlight here.
As the school year winds down, it's time to start thinking about summer vacation. Just because school is out doesn't mean students should stop practicing math concepts. This summer, we encourage students to join our next puzzle challenge, JiJi's Summer Math Club. This challenge is designed to keep students learning all summer long! Read the blog post to download free activity trackers, activity sheets and fun social media graphics you can share with your community.
As you can see, an ST Math school year is full of so many fun activities to engage your community! Stay up to date on the latest usage challenges, user events, contests and more by subscribing to our blog and following us on social media. So join us and see how sweet school can be!
Parker Erickson is MIND’s Content and Community Specialist. As a digital storyteller, Parker is passionate about building strong communities through technology and social media. Off the clock, you can find him buried in the latest issue of The New Yorker or experiencing different cultures through food.