Kids have ‘sum’ fun at Maths Week with Izak9

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Kids from both sides of the border are being ‘added together’ to have fun with sums as part of a shared learning Maths Week Ireland initiative.

Eight schools from across Derry, Donegal and Tyrone will this week take part in the fun learning events using the unique ‘Izak9’ maths learning resource.

Izak9 is a set of colourful cubes which adds interactive play to maths class and has been proven in university studies to boost children’s enjoyment of the subject.

Izak9 creator Franz Schlindwein, a maths teacher-turned-inventor from Derry, says he’s delighted to partner with Maths Week Ireland to facilitate the ‘Maths with no borders’ workshops in Derry and Strabane.

“We’re looking forward to two wonderful events hosted by St. Catherine’s PS in Strabane and Rosemount PS in Derry on October 18 and 20 respectively,” he says.

“Maths Week presents a great opportunity to sow seeds from which passion for mathematics can grow throughout the year and year on year. It is also a time to take risks with learning and break from normal classroom maths teaching practices.

“At each workshop, there will be four schools in attendance, two from the North and two from the South with a mix of Controlled, Catholic Maintained, Church of Ireland and National School children. The focus of the first workshop will be transition maths with the other workshop being more whole school maths/skills based,” he added.

The schools taking part in the initiative are Rosemount PS (host) and Model PS in Derry; St. Mura’s PS, Buncrana, Co Donegal; Scoil Naomh Brid, Muff, Co Donegal; St. Catherine’s PS (host), Strabane; Strabane Controlled PS; St. Patrick’s NS, Murlog, Lifford, Co Donegal and Scoil Cholmcille, Cloughfin, Co. Donegal.

Maths Week Ireland founder Eoin Gill adds: “Franz has been working closely with the Shared Education and Transition projects and, as a result of the outcomes of this work (, the Education Authorities in ROI are initiating pilot ventures to investigate factors affecting pupil transition and how to deliver the skills of the Irish Maths Curriculum, as well as looking into the teaching and learning of maths in Irish medium schools.

“Maths Week offers the unique opportunity for pupils from both sides of the border to meet and collaborate on maths related tasks together,” he added.

Maths Week is the biggest festival of its kind in the world engaging more than 300,000 in 2016