Teachers at Bridges Elementary School are helping parents learn their student’s math curriculum.
Math Night, held once a year in the fall, serves as an opportunity to involve parents in their child’s school experience, said Bridges Elementary School Principal Chanda Kulow.
“We purposefully connect parents to learning that is happening in the classroom and reinforce the role that parents have as active participants in the education of their children,” Kulow said. “Our math committee also shares ideas that parents can have fun with math at home, while building a strong mathematical foundation.”
For example, Kulow said a simple counting game can be done during time spent in the car.
“The activities are excellent opportunities for parents to work with their child on important math concepts while reinforcing classroom learning,” Kulow said.
According to Jennifer Diaz-Tegen, a second grade teacher at Bridges, Math Night offers families the chance to connect during an evening of learning and playing with mathematics.
“There were several stations the children and parents could attend,” Diaz-Tegen said. “One station was learning about how math looks at school and how parents can help at home from the math interventionist.”
Another station involved families in strategy games while another focused on how math conversations change between grade levels.
Kulow said old math methods focused heavily on the memorization certain facts or procedures, while new math requires students to solve problems by applying a mathematical concept and then explain their reasoning.
“At Bridges we teach math through hands-on, exploration-based activities,” Kulow said. “For example, students can use multiple strategies such as drawing a picture or using building blocks as counting resources to find the answers and demonstrate understanding.”
For the past three years, Bridges has been holding math and literacy events for families.
“We wanted to continue to build strong, family-school partnerships by engaging parents as partners around student learning,” Kulow said. “Research clearly indicates parent involvement in their child’s education has a significant impact on academic success. When parents take an active role both in and out of the classroom, learning increases and academic scores rise.”