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Maths Week Scotland for Libraries: How to get involved

Maths Week Scotland works with a range of organisations, including libraries, to enable people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with numeracy and mathematics.

Maths Week Scotland 2024 will take place Monday 23 September to Sunday 29 September, and the theme this year is Maths Tales.

There are many low cost ways to get involved. It doesn’t always need to be something big or new, it’s the taking part that counts.

1. Book Display:

One of the easiest ways for libraries to get involved with Maths Week Scotland, is to create a book display featuring books that include a maths or numeracy theme.

Tip: This could already be set up earlier in September, in the run up to Maths Week Scotland. If you were planning other events or activities too (see below for further suggestions), this would also be a good opportunity to gather some interest as you could advertise your events or activities as part your book display.

Here are some book displays shared in 2023 by Sighthill Library, McDonald Road Library, and Gilmerton Library in Edinburgh:

Library Displays
Left: Sighthill Library; Middle: McDonald Road Library; Right (top & bottom): Gilmerton Library

2. Storytime

Following on from the book displays, if your library has a regular Story Time, then another easy way of taking part in Maths Week Scotland is to adapt your Story Time to include some maths and numeracy inspired books.

Here is an example of the books that Portobello Library chose for their Maths Week Story Time last year.

You can also find some maths and numeracy related children’s books that have been shared on the Maths Week Scotland website. Maybe one of your librarians would like to contribute a review of their favourite maths or numeracy book.

3. Bookbug

Similarly, a Bookbug session can be given an easy maths twist with a focus on counting songs, or songs about shapes or numbers. There is a round-up on the Maths Week Scotland website of all the Bookbug maths and numeracy resources.

For an example of a Maths Week Bookbug in action, check out North Lanarkshire Libraries who broadcast theirs online on YouTube, Facebook & Twitter.

And Early Years Scotland - Dumfries & Galloway shared some photos from the Maths Week Bookbug sessions at Lochmaben and Annan libraries.

4. Lego Club:

Many libraries run regular Lego clubs. There is a lot of hidden maths in playing with Lego, so another poplar way for libraries to participate in Maths Week Scotland has been to make their Lego Club meetings maths themed.

Here are some examples from 2023:

  • Moredun Library had some fun with Lego coding.
  • Muir of Ord Library made some Lego creations featuring numbers and last year’s Maths in Motion theme.
  • Kirkliston Library built numbers at their Lego club.
  • Inverness Library had a Lego Club meetup all about patterns.

There are also some suggestions for Lego activities on the Maths Week Scotland Website.

5. Crafts:

Many libraries also run regular craft workshops. You can easily adapt these by choosing a maths themed art or craft during Maths Week Scotland.

We have some maths themed craft activities on the Maths Week Scotland website, for inspiration to get you started.

Some activities that don’t require many resources (only paper, scissors, glue) that could work well for libraries include:

  • the Geometric Cityscape
  • the Shape Mice (this could be expanded to having children create their own creatures, not just mice, but they need to use shapes for it)

Both of these activities also work well with the 2024 theme ‘Maths Tales’ – create a cityscape and then think up a story that takes place there; or create a shape animal or creature to be the character in a story.

MWS craft activities for libraries

If you have access to old magazines, a magazine number hunt or shape hunt could also work well in a library setting.

Here are some examples of library crafts from Maths Week Scotland in 2023:

Other Ideas…

Some other ideas that have been shared by libraries during Maths Week Scotland include scavenger hunts, number trails, painting by numbers, number puzzles, maths riddle sheets & activity sheets, tabletop role playing games with 20 sided dice, code breaking, and Sudoku.

Some libraries even adapted all of their regular activities, to create a whole week-long celebration of Maths Week Scotland last year:

MWS Library Programmes examples

Whether you do one event or activity or a whole week, or even just a book display, we would love to have your library take part in Maths Week Scotland!

You can submit any events and activities via the Maths Week Scotland website here https://www.mathsweek.scot/events to have them included in the programme and any related promotion.

For any further questions, or to chat through any ideas, please feel free to get in touch with the Maths Week Scotland team via info@mathsweek.scot

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