There's little doubt that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books has inspired students of all ages to read. Janet Amenhauser, a teacher at Grace N. Rogers School in Hightstown (Mercer County) decided to use the students' interest in the Harry Potter books and an already successful incorporation of the Potter theme into a student-created book of math problems. The Hogwarts Math Club is designed to encourage students to be risk takers and improve their math problem-solving skills. Thanks to a $6,054 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, 30 students and parents will begin their journey into the land of the Hogwarts beginning in September.
Students will be "sorted" into the four houses (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) of the Potter books' students. Each house will compete for points by solving problems found on mathematics-related web sites, constructing Hogwarts products, and creating Hogwarts math challenges. Among the various activities included in this project are:
- Using measurement and geometry skills to create "sorting hats," "quidditch brooms," "house banners," and Norbert dragons;
- At home, with parental support, students will use their knowledge of fractions as they follow a recipe to make snacks for club members;
- At club meetings students will take turns using laptop computers to earn points by solving problems on dynamath.com or mathforum.com;
- Students will create Hogwarts math challenges for the Hogwarts Math Fair.
The project has in-kind support from the school principal who is financing copying costs and the PTA which is financing refreshments at the fair and whose members will serve as volunteers at the Math Fair.
For further information, contact:
Janet Y. Amenhauser