I arrived at William Reid School a year ago.

As a banker in my previous life, I have a strong math background and mathematics is dear to my heart.

Having taught math to students from kindergarten to grade 7, I have always been amazed how children in grade 3 often already identify with “I am terrible at math”.

I have always seen it as my mission to change that attitude. We all can do math, and we all should love math, as it is essential in life to be math literate.

Being able to teach children with hands-on manipulatives is imperative for our visual learners. A grant from EducationMatters allowed me to purchase those for our students.

We bought a number of Rekenreks (seen in the picture above), which support the learning of addition and subtraction of numbers up to 100.

Working with the Rekenrek, all our grade 1 and 2 students have learned to move beads by 5, 10 or even 50.

Some of the grade 3 students who were struggling with addition and subtraction are now confident, as they know exactly how to use the Rekenrek, and they are feeling successful in math for the first time in their life.

Their feeling of success in math has now translated into a willingness to try harder in learning to read and write. Their perseverance has increased and the I CAN attitude we want our students to have at William Reid has improved.

Your support changes the lives of students in Calgary. Please consider making a donation today to the EducationMatters Back to School Campaign to help more students like me.

We all have a role to play in public education. Thank you for your support.


Meike Thomsen
Assistant Principal, William Reid School