More teachers of the state of Rio de Janeiro are participating in the training sessions about the approach of O Círculo da Matemática do Brasil this year. So far, the training sessions in Rio de Janeiro, Duque de Caxias, Niterói and São Gonçalo have already involved 270 participants, more than double compared to last year, when 106 teachers were trained. Furthermore, 11 municipal schools of Rio de Janeiro and Duque de Caxias have Círculo classes in 2016, taking the approach to 1016 students from 2nd to 4th grades of Elementary School.
One of the 10 educators of Círculo in Rio de Janeiro, Andréia Fernandes comments that teachers come to the training sessions with some difficulties related to subtraction, division and fractions, and curious to understand the approach. “The training sessions are quite fruitful. We establish dialogues, present the activities and teachers also participate in dynamics”, she says. On the second meeting, teachers have a moment to share their experiences with the approach.
The educator Priscilla Perez, of Rio de Janeiro, claims that the feedback from the teachers with whom she maintains contact is very positive. They can incorporate the approach in classes and adapt the activities to large classes (the Círculo classes are held with a reduced number of students). “The approach changes the way of teaching and the students’ perception of mathematics. The teachers say that students gets happy when math class days come, there are almost no absences in those days”, she adds.
EM Armando de Salles Oliveira is one of the schools in Rio de Janeiro that participates in Círculo in two ways: teachers attend the training sessions and students receive Círculo classes. The coordinator Fabrício de Macedo explains that teachers focus more on Portuguese language teaching, to develop the children’s reading and writing, than on mathematics, which ends up being in the background. For this reason, the school has decided to join Círculo for the second consecutive year.
“Círculo offers this space of development of logical-mathematical reasoning for students. There is an improvement not only in mathematics performance, but also in behavior. As they are in small groups, children have more opportunity to speak, they become active participatory subjects”, says Fabrício. The coordinator points out as another positive aspect the importance of error as part of learning and comments that students are participating more in classes and respecting more the colleagues who make mistakes.
Priscilla also noticed a big change in the behavior of students with Círculo classes. Before moving to Rio de Janeiro, she was an educator of Círculo in Belém (PA), and says that the Rio students are more restless. “Here I saw much greater results on the issue of behavior. Now the children are more respectful, they are listening better, they don’t mock the colleague when he makes a mistake”, she reports. To Andréia, one of the purposes of the training sessions is precisely to take these changes forward to more schools. “Círculo classes occur one hour per week, and it is important that teachers have that same treatment with children during all classes”, she says. “It makes a difference not only in math classes”.