**Organization and Timelines**

Setting up a math fair based on the four SNAP guidelines can be done in several ways. This section contains 6 steps to follow about how to have your students and your school prepare for a SNAP math fair.

In a math fair, students should work in small groups, the puzzles have to be distributed, and each group has to solve its puzzle. Then the students prepare their displays, have a rehearsal, and finally present the math fair to the public.

In a math fair, students should work in small groups, the puzzles have to be distributed, and each group has to solve its puzzle. Then the students prepare their displays, have a rehearsal, and finally present the math fair to the public.

**1. Choose your groups:**Doing math should not be an isolated activity. Different students bring different skills to the group. Future leaders have to learn about cooperation. Working in small groups also allows students to take turns at the math fair. Some can man their booth while other members of the group visit the other displays.

**2. Distribute the puzzles:**How to do this is the teacher's call. You can use anything from a cookie jar approach to assigning special problems to specific students, although either extreme is probably not optimal. Teachers who wish to have students work on more than one problem have accomplished this in different ways. A common way is to supply a collection of puzzles from which the math fair will be chosen. Each student works on most of the puzzles, and the groups are not determined until later. This is especially useful if you have a math fair club.

For the earlier grades, some teachers have the entire class work together to solve all of problems that will be presented at the math fair. Afterwards, the student groups choose which problems they each will do for the fair.For the earlier grades, some teachers have the entire class work together to solve all of problems that will be presented at the math fair. Afterwards, the student groups choose which problems they each will do for the fair.

In the process of solving the puzzle, older students should be encouraged to prepare different levels of the puzzle that will appeal to both younger and older visitors.

An attractive display is more than a few minutes work. The actual amount of time required will depend upon the complexity of the display. If students work on the fair as part of their daily schedule, at least two days is a minimum. There is much opportunity for interdisciplinary work in the preparation of the displays. The displays can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Some examples are described here.

The students should be aware that the display has two purposes: to help present the puzzle (not the answer) to the math fair visitors, and to tempt the visitors to try the puzzle. Among other things, this means that solutions should not be included as part of the display—the students, not the display boards, are the experts. Also, variations of the puzzle should not be labeled "easy", "medium", and "hard". Such labels discourage visitors from attempting the puzzle.

An in-house rehearsal will reveal any glitches in the the students' presentation. Any flimsy parts of the display will be discovered, and the students will have chance to show that they really are the experts for their problems. The rehearsal can be done in several ways. Either each group can present to the rest of their class, or the whole fair can be set up for a true dress rehearsal. In the latter case, one half of each group presents the math fair to the rest of the students, and then they switch roles after about an hour.

The math fair is set up in an appropriate place, for example in the school gymnasium, or in a shopping mall, or even in the classroom. The students man their booths, and the public is invited to try their puzzles. Below are some suggestions about who to invite to the math fairs.

Typically, a math fair lasts from one to two hours, but some may last considerably longer. Time should be allowed for students to have breaks and food. Some teachers have organized math fairs with rotations. Each project is presided over by at least two students, and one student visits the other projects while the rest of the group remains with their own project. After a certain amount of time, the students rotate duties much like what what is described for the rehearsal.

For the earlier grades, some teachers have the entire class work together to solve all of problems that will be presented at the math fair. Afterwards, the student groups choose which problems they each will do for the fair.For the earlier grades, some teachers have the entire class work together to solve all of problems that will be presented at the math fair. Afterwards, the student groups choose which problems they each will do for the fair.

**3. Solve the puzzles**:*This is the real reason for the math fair!*Students develop problem-solving skills by solving challenging problems. A good puzzle takes time to solve, certainly more than a few minutes, and sometimes more than one day, so sufficient time has to be allotted for this part of the math fair.In the process of solving the puzzle, older students should be encouraged to prepare different levels of the puzzle that will appeal to both younger and older visitors.

**4. Prepare the displays:**An attractive display is more than a few minutes work. The actual amount of time required will depend upon the complexity of the display. If students work on the fair as part of their daily schedule, at least two days is a minimum. There is much opportunity for interdisciplinary work in the preparation of the displays. The displays can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Some examples are described here.

The students should be aware that the display has two purposes: to help present the puzzle (not the answer) to the math fair visitors, and to tempt the visitors to try the puzzle. Among other things, this means that solutions should not be included as part of the display—the students, not the display boards, are the experts. Also, variations of the puzzle should not be labeled "easy", "medium", and "hard". Such labels discourage visitors from attempting the puzzle.

**5. Rehearsal:**An in-house rehearsal will reveal any glitches in the the students' presentation. Any flimsy parts of the display will be discovered, and the students will have chance to show that they really are the experts for their problems. The rehearsal can be done in several ways. Either each group can present to the rest of their class, or the whole fair can be set up for a true dress rehearsal. In the latter case, one half of each group presents the math fair to the rest of the students, and then they switch roles after about an hour.

**6. Present to the public:**The math fair is set up in an appropriate place, for example in the school gymnasium, or in a shopping mall, or even in the classroom. The students man their booths, and the public is invited to try their puzzles. Below are some suggestions about who to invite to the math fairs.

Typically, a math fair lasts from one to two hours, but some may last considerably longer. Time should be allowed for students to have breaks and food. Some teachers have organized math fairs with rotations. Each project is presided over by at least two students, and one student visits the other projects while the rest of the group remains with their own project. After a certain amount of time, the students rotate duties much like what what is described for the rehearsal.