Math Fair Setup Checklist
A little organization and advance planning will help you breathe more easily on the day of the fair!
One week before the fair...
- Send home a reminder note to be signed and returned. I count this as a homework assignment so I’ll be sure to get it back. ADD - Be sure to send reminder emails and list the event on your class website, blog, or wiki.
- Contact the newspapers and TV stations again.
- Double-check to be sure the meeting room is still booked for you.
- Make sure the students are ready. I have all games due two days before the fair. That allows one day for "Oh, I forgot it..." and one day for practice, review, and setup.
- Measure the table space for the displays, so that students can have signs, table coverings, and banners to the right size.
- Make sure that judges’ sheets (four per game) and ballots (for students from visiting schools) are ready to run off.
- Have students share any interactive projects with the class (videos, Voicethreads, or Wall Wisher posters they created.)
- Check on laptop availability for students to use to share their interactive projects during the Math Fair.
- Share interactive projects on your class website, blog, or wiki. Be sure to obtain parental permission before posting students’ work on the website.
The day before...
- Bring the students down to set up. Tables should be out, with help from your friendly custodian.
- Have students put all posters, brochures, and finished products in place, ready to go.
- Remember that some children – change to - students will create videos or other multimedia tools to promote their games. Extension cords and plugs are important!
- Give each student or group a large sign with their assigned number on it for easy viewing by judges and visiting students.
The day of the Fair...
- Students make last-minute adjustments during first recess.
- Allow judges 30 minutes to roam and examine the games without energized students to distract them. (Our judges arrived at 12:45 PM.) This will give judges time to formulate questions and perhaps notice a really great idea among all the glitz.
- Our students were at their stations by 1:15. They skipped second recess to get "warmed up." Visiting students arrived at about the same time, and stayed until 2:30. Visitors got to try out the games and vote for their favorite three entries. These votes don’t count, but they make for interesting comparisons. Visitors leave before the final results are announced. I e-mailed the results and a thank you to the visiting teachers.
- We collected the judges’ votes at about 2:45, and announced the winners as soon as the tabulations were complete. (Using four judges, I chose to throw out the lowest score on each game and average the other three. Your strategy may vary.)
- Present the trophies!!
- Clean up and tear down. Students should help with this, but it can be tough. Plan to tackle the last of it the next morning!