It makes us smile when we receive letters like the following:
I am absolutely delighted with the outcome last night. You cannot believe the amount of positive feedback that has been coming my way. Each and every family left here last night with a huge smile on their face. To quote, “That was awesome Mom”. One teacher said and I am not kidding here – Dad’s were over the top happy with the event they were giving her high fives. Another teacher had a conference this morning and the parent could not stop raving about Family Math Night. You were right the Student Council were shining stars. They were incredible! The compliments about them were just flowing!
The Superintendent was here working along side families. He stopped in my office this morning with a big smile on his face talking about the best Family Math Night he has ever seen. The Director of Curriculum was here and participated as well. She sent me the most awesome email. The Director of Special Education was here and she is in pictures working along side children. The Principals of both schools and all the staff the came to support the event have blogged, face booked and sent emails.
Most importantly are the students who attended. The staff told me from all grade levels Family Math Night is the buzz. Kids are already talking about next year. And I mean grade 6 students too. Oh yes parent and children alike told me last night and their teachers today, that they want to be on Student Council so they can do Family Math Night when they get to sixth grade.
A great big gigantic THANK YOU goes from me to you!!!! I have not stopped smiling myself.
~Mary, Math/Science Curriculum Specialist
This was sent a few minutes later: Ok I just have to share this. I just got an email from the PreK teachers and they are getting positive feedback as well. Who knew?
Our most recent Family Math Night event was done at an International Baccalaureate (IB) elementary school. The two teachers I was working with to organize the event wanted to find a way to include an inquiry-based question for students to answer. Their students have had a lot of practice with inquiry-based curriculm, which is a heavy component in the IB program, so it would have been a missed opportunity had we not tied IB in with math night.
We decided to come up with the open-ended question, What do you notice? for both K-2 and 3-5. Sometimes we spend a lot of time telling kids what to think so leaving the question open-ended gave them an opportunity to do their own thinking. Plus, this type of thinking ties in nicely with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics.
For K-2, I decided to go with something visual and pulled a design from one of our Nifty Numbers Family Math Night banners. For the older students, I went with something a little more abstract…Pascal’s Triangle. Originally I had a visual question for the 3-5 group as well – see photo below – but changed my mind last minute. However, either question would have worked. In fact, the possibilities are endless.
The photo above shows the two questions along with student responses. Students who wrote an answer received an extra raffle ticket to put in the raffle jar.
What a great group of volunteers! These are the station facilitators and family math night coordinator for one of our latest Math Medley Family Math Night events. By the way, notice how two of them are students…one middle school and the other high school.
I like how most of them are wearing the school spirit t-shirt. It’s a great way to show support of the school but it’s also a great way for participants to know who is the station facilitator. Visors are another idea, as well. And, of course, name tags.
Each one of these facilitators watched the short 5-minute clip of their station (links included with the kit) and in no time at all were prepared and ready to take on enthusiastic kids and their parents. As one facilitator put it, “Watching the video clip was brilliant!”
Here’s what Suzy, the family math night coordinator, had to say about her role, “I’m a mother of 3 that works part time and has a very busy life. I love event planning, but being a Family Math Night coordinator sounded overwhelming to me when I was first approached because I was worried about how much time I had to give for planning in order for this event to be a success. However, everything I needed was right in front of me and all the support I needed was available either online, via e-mail or a quick phone call. It was the easiest event I have ever coordinated and it was a huge success and I can’t stop thinking about the next one and how we can add to the evening. I am so grateful that I said yes! This needs to be happening in every school! It is exciting! It is fun! And best of all, kids are learning! WIN! WIN! WIN!”
A family math night event is usually done in a large room such as a multi-purpose room. But it can be done anywhere there is enough space for 8 large tables that seat 15+ participants.
The photos below are an example of one way to set up a multi-purpose room. The tables in this room are covered with brightly colored plastic tablecloths. There is an additional table set up for the raffle that will be going on during the event. The large whiteboard is the participant sign-in sheet.