On Thursday May 5th, our school hosted our First Annual Family Math Night!
Moraine Hills Public School in York Region District School Board
Family Math Night is "a fun, shared experience that promotes family involvement with math, build strong family-school partnerships, create a sense of community, and connect family engagement to student learning" (Family Math Night, 2016).
Our school had a team of educators from each division come together to plan and co-facilitate this wonderful learning opportunity. I was very fortunate to be one of the co-faciliators!
When planning for this event, Family Math Night supplied us with kits to get us started. Some items include:
(Family Math Night, 2016).
Each of the activities are designed around sound mathematical principles and were developed by a veteran elementary school teacher with over 25 years of classroom experience. Each of the activities are also aligned with the Core Curriculum Standards (Family Math Night, 2016).
For our Family Math Night we utilized some of the main ideas but compiled our own activities that we were using in the classroom with our students. We chose to do this so that the concepts being taught in class would be reinforced with the students and their families during the Family Math Night. We also tried our best to ensure that there was one activity for each of the 5 strands in the Mathematics Curriculum which include: Patterning, Geometry, Number Sense & Numeration, Data Management, and Measurement
Connection to the Ontario Curriculum in Mathematics Grades 1-8 (2005):
- Importance of Mathematics"An information- and technology-based society requires individuals who are able to think critically about complex issues, analyst and adapt to new situations, solve problems of various kinds, and communicate their thinking effectively. The study of mathematics equips students with knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that are essential for successful and rewarding participation in such a society"
- Roles and Responsibilities of Parents "studies show that students perform better in school if their parents or guardians are involved in their education"
- Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers "responsible for developing appropriate instructional strategies to help students achieve the curriculum expectations, and for developing appropriate methods for assessing and evaluating student learning"
- Roles and Responsibilities of Students "willingness to engage in activities, reflect on their experiences, learn and apply strategies and processes that promote understanding of concepts, and to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom to extend and enrich their understanding of mathematics"
I feel that when schools host an Annual Family Math Night it allows for parents to be involved in their child's education, it allows students to engage, reflect, and apply their knowledge outside of the classroom, and it allows the teachers to continue to plan, facilitate, and reinforce learning within different settings. These Family Math Nights hold such importance because it proves that learning does not only have to occur during school hours and only at school, rather it can be continued at home as well. Each of the stations we have facilitated allowed some form of a take-home kit so that the parents and their children can continue to practice the skills and concepts at home.
Math was never my strong subject as a child or a teenager so I always became disengaged whenever I was unsuccessful. As a teacher I am always trying to find new ways for teaching math that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of my students so that they can be successful and LOVE MATH! I am always connecting math to real life experiences and provide plenty of hands on exploration, manipulatives, and technology to support learning experiences. I also take advantage of every opportunity I have to further my knowledge base in the area of mathematics through: professional development workshops and Additional Qualification courses. As a teacher I can say that I LOVE MATH and from what I have been hearing from my students, they too LOVE MATH! :) I will continue to co-facilitate Family Math Nights within any school community I am part of!
For additional information on the set-up, obtaining Family Math Night Kits and resources, and parent handouts to support child learning at home please visit: http://www.familymathnight.com/resources/familymathnight.php