Family Math Night

Pia Hansen

I recently helped co-host a S’more Math Family Night event that was a hit for all involved. We started by having students and their families meet in the school's multi-purpose room, where I introduced some of the new visual models and strategies students would employ this year. After our brief chat, everyone headed off to a classroom where students led some of the Work Places currently in play.

Family Math Night

Family Math Night

After about 30 minutes of Work Places, everyone headed back to the multi-purpose room to enjoy some s’mores.

Here’s a sample schedule from the event:

  • 5:30 – 6:00: Introductions in the Multi-Purpose Room
    Goal: Parents will gain an understanding of the new Common Core State Math Standards and how Bridges in Mathematics addresses those standards.
  • 6:00 – 6:30: Math Work Places
    Parents and students will go to grade-level classrooms to play Work Place games together.
  • 6:30 – 7:00: Return to Multi-Purpose Room
    S’mores!
    Questions & Reflections

Here are some tips for ensuring a successful and fun Family Math Night:

  • Consider your population when choosing a date and time for the event. Our event was in the evening, but you could easily have a morning or noon event if it would better meet the needs of your families.
  • Keep your event to less than two hours, maximum.
  • Focus on specific outcomes. For S’more Math Night, our goal was to introduce families to the new math standards and the new visual models and strategies in Bridges.
  • Involve students as much as possible. For example, have students teach and lead Work Place games.
  • Choose a theme. Ours centered on s’mores, but you could use any number of fun themes and have a great outcome. Involving students in generating theme ideas can be a great way to get them excited about the event.

Have you hosted a Family Math Night for your families?  Do you have any tips to share?

Pia Hansen is director of professional development for MLC.