Manual

Welcome to the Texas A&M University Math Circle.   We provide a weekly mathematics enrichment program for middle school and high school students in the Brazos Valley.  Our activities are run by volunteers, many of whom are students and faculty at TAMU.  Please read this manual carefully as it contains important information.

  

Instructions for Students 

  • Rule #1 at all Math Circles is: If you have already seen an activity, please do not destroy it for others by shouting out all the answers or even telling others at your table. If you have something to say which is new to you, by all means, go ahead and offer the information.
  • Students are expected to be respectful of the presenters, volunteers, and other students.  They are expected to follow the directions of the volunteers and presenters, including: raising hand to be called on, following directions during the activity, participating in the activity, working with assigned partners and groups, waiting their turn for snacks.
  • If you have questions, please ask! Don’t let the activity get ahead of you. If you have not yet learned something in school, it is not your fault. Ask and someone may be able to bring you up to speed.
  • Have Fun!

 

Instructions for Parents

Parking

  • Paid parking is available at Northside parking garage.  
  • Drop off is behind the Blocker Building in lot 5 or in front of the Blocker Building in Lot 7. Please do not stop on Ireland St. to let kids out.
Check In
  • Please arrive between 2:00 PM and 2:15 PM.
  • Have your child pick up their name tag and check in with the volunteers before entering the classroom.
Check Out
  • Please arrive by 4:00 PM or 5:00 depending on if you child plans to attend the optional problem solving session to pick up your child.
  • Make sure your child has turned in their name tag to a volunteer before leaving.
 

Discipline

The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students at Math Circle.  While it is wonderful to see so many students interested in mathematics, having a large group can make it difficult to run the activities.  Thus, we ask parents to read this section carefully and discuss behavior with their children before attending Math Circle activities. 

Students are expected to be respectful of the presenters, volunteers, and other students.  They are expected to follow the directions of the volunteers and presenters, including: raising hand to be called on, following directions during the activity, participating in the activity, working with assigned partners and groups, waiting their turn for snacks.  

Students who are being disrespectful during the activities will be given one warning.  If they continue to misbehave, multiple actions may be taken, including: parent emailed, student being assigned to work separately on a worksheet, student being sent out of the room, parent being called to pick up the student, student being banned from subsequent Math Circle activities.

Instructions for Student Volunteers

  • Student Volunteers should sign up using the “Registration” tab at the top of this page.
  • We would like the student volunteers to arrive by !:30pm, as some children are dropped off earlier than 2:00pm.
  • Student volunteers should assist with setting up the room (putting the tables in blocks of two tables back to back, instead of lecture-style, setting out supplies for the 30-minute activity, sharpen pencils).
  • They should greet the students when they arrive in the room and get them started on the 30-minute activity.
  • Volunteers should assist with cleaning up the 30 minute activity and setting up for the next activities.
  • They should stay in the rooms with the speakers to help with distributing materials and disciplining the students (sometimes just standing behind the students and staring at them will get them to stop misbehaving).
  • The beginner group should be escorted to the restrooms (volunteers can wait in the elevator lobby).
  • Volunteers should help maintain order during pick-up; some of the youngest students try to run away for some reason, so they should be watched closely.  Volunteers should help put the room back to normal and pack up supplies.
  • We would like the student volunteers to stay after 4:00pm, but we understand that some may need to leave early to catch a bus.  If student volunteers would like a ride home, please speak to one of the organizers ahead of time to see if we can arrange transportation.
  • Volunteers who stay after should make sure each child leaves with their parent or guardian and insure each child turns in their name tag.
  • The tables and chairs need to be put back to the arrangement they were in before we came. Since this is different for each room, the student workers will have to explain what needs to be done.
  • Please bring two tables from the hall back into the room when check-out is complete.

Background Check and Child Protection Training

  • According to Texas law, everyone working with the minors, needs to have a Criminal Background Check and to take the Child Protection Training Online Course. The Background check needs to be done yearly. The Child Protection Training needs to be done once every 2 years.
  • Student volunteers should email Donna Hoffman (donna@math.tamu.edu) to set up the Background Check. She will send your name to Human Resources and they will contact you to complete the online form for the background check.  So watch your inbox and your junk inbox for that email in the next day or so. If you have had a Criminal Background Check for another camp or something else for the University in the last year, you can email Donna that you have already done it and give us the approximate date and activity it was for.
  • The instructions for taking the Child Protection Training Online Course are at http://studentactivities.tamu.edu/camps/safety in the section Child Protection Training Online Course Information. If you are a Univ employee, you will take the training through TrainTraq. When you complete the training please send a pdf file of your Certificate or your TrainTraq transcript to Donna at donna@math.tamu.edu It takes about 20 minutes.

Instructions for Presenters 

  • Please tell the organizers what supplies you will need at least a week in advance. Some supplies you may need are:
    •  paper, pencils, color pencils, graph paper, rulers, compasses, scissors, chalk, markers, dice (4, 6, 10, 12, 20, 30 sided), spinners, cards, chess pieces, checkers, poker chips, colored stones, nesting cups, transparency sheets, 
  • If you have handouts, please give the organizers a copy at least a week in advance. We can usually handle pdf, doc, ppt, latex, etc.
  • Please tell the organizers if you plan to use an overhead projector, the document camera or a computer (your own laptop or the one in the room). Do you need internet access? Please bring files on a flash drive.
  • If you plan to use a website which uses Java or Flash, we should check it out in advance because some browsers need to be set to accept these separately from each website.
  • Please arrive about 1:45 pm to help the volunteers set-up your activity. You may want to talk to the student volunteers to discuss your activity and explain how they should interact with the students.

Background Check and Child Protection Training

  • According to Texas law, everyone working with the minors, needs to have a Criminal Background Check and to take the Child Protection Training Online Course. The Background check needs to be done yearly. The Child Protection Training needs to be done once every 2 years.
  • If you are going to be working at the Circle for multiple sessions, then you should complete the Background Check and Child Protection Training. See the directions under Instructions for Student Volunteers.
  • If you are a visitor or will only be presenting 1 or 2 sessions, then you can skip the BC and CPT; we will have someone in the room who has completed these.