Extension Maths Ideas for Australian Teachers

Last week I shared my wonderings around Maths Enrichment and Extension. I had some really interesting discussions around this with several of you which was great!

One of the things I gathered was that I am not alone.

There are a lot of teachers and leaders out there who have questions around this topic. And every school has a slightly different way of approaching enrichment.

This prompted me to do a little research. Now while I was preparing this email I got side-tracked looking at resources and program I could recommend to you.

I was going to share these in next week's email but as the closing date for some are very soon and the term is quickly coming to a close I wanted to share them this week! Next week I will share a little more of the research side to enrichment/extension:)

So this is my list of 6 amazing offerings for Maths Enrichment/Extension:

1. Maths Talent Quest, a National competition run by the Mathematical Association of Victoria (in conjunction with the NSW, QLD, WA and SA state based mathematical associations). Several schools I know encourage their extension students from F-6 to enter this competition. It is a fantastic way to encourage students to follow their interests and design and complete a maths investigation (at home or at school). Both individual and group entries are accepted. You can find out more here. Registration opens in April but you can start the projects anytime!

2. Another program that looks amazing for Year 5/6, 7/8 or 9/10 students is the Micro Mathematicians program offered by Melbourne University. The first round applications for this have just closed, but there will be further offering later in the year... so keep an eye out for them! You can read more about this program here. This is open to students across Australia as it is currently being run in a virtual format.

3. Another option are the Australian Maths Trust's Maths Enrichment programs. These are for Year 4-10 students and involve 10-12 week modules that students complete. All the resources including teacher guides, letters to parents etc are included and students are provided with 8 problems to work through over the 12 weeks. This runs from April to October. You can read more here.

4. If you are just looking for tasks to provide enrichment to your students, anything from the www.nrich.maths.org is brilliant. It is in the top 5 websites I recommend to schools for maths planning. You can check out the website here. It has resources from Foundation through to Secondary School.

5. Each year Australian Mathematics Competition is run by the Australian Mathematics Trust. This is open to all students across the world from Years 3-12. When I taught in schools, we offered the opportunity to participate to all our Year 3-6 students. Parents had to indicate if they wanted their child to participate. This year the AMC is taking place from the 4-6th of August and entries close in June. There is both an online and paper option. I think providing opportunities like this is a great way to show student we value their interest in maths just as much as other pursuits, such as sports. I believe participating in the AMC tests provide a challenge for extension students, is a great opportunity for them to shine and provides invaluable test-taking experiences. You can read about the AMC competitions here.

6. The Maths Olympiad has been around for many years and is a great problem solving challenge for extension Year 4-8 Students. Five times throughout the year a group of up to 30 students from your school individually complete a 30minute test sent to you by the competition organisers. You mark the papers and send in the results and prizes are awarded for both individuals and teams.

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