Fighting Words contributed to a cross border SCoTENS funded event for future primary school teachers from Dublin City University's Institute of Education and Ulster University's School of Education. The focus was on using literature in the primary school maths classroom.
In the first session, Dr Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai of Reading University and principal investigator on the MathsThroughStories initiative explored various ways in which picture books can be used in the teaching of maths to primary school children. This interactive workshop was a lot of fun, with students very engaged and interested in ways they might go on and use the books in question on their own teaching practice.
Having explored ways of using children's literature in the classroom, the second part of the day explored ways to encourage the children to create their own stories. Here, the student teachers participated in a Fighting Words story writing workshop, with a view to using the model in their own classrooms.
This successful event was enjoyed by all present, with a strong consensus that, within the primary school classroom, there is plenty of scope for the integration of children's literature in mathematics learning and teaching. Having children write their own stories contributes to this in many ways, including the development of language and skills that contribute to them being able to discuss maths problems and figure them out.
In the workshop they created a story about an alien called Albert and an astronaut called Aline.