October 30th, 2018 – Huber Heights City Schools had its first family math night and it was a huge success. Vanisa Turney Ed.D., District Curriculum and Instruction Director, came on episode 3 of The Warrior Path Podcast to talk about the specifics of the event.
“I think it was awesome. We had a great turnout. Lots of families, students were engaged, parents were excited to engage in the activities with their students,” says Turney.
She says the idea to have a math night happened over the summer with the district seeking feedback from parents. “We conducted listening sessions to gain an idea of the needs, ideas and wants of our parents and families to inform our steps as a district,” said Turney.
Reoccurring concerns from the listening sessions were that parents weren’t sure how to help students with their math homework since the curriculum has drastically changed over the years. Parents wanted to know the methods and strategies taught in school so they can help reinforce them at home.
From there, the first district math night was set in motion. Turney, Shalen Back, the district Math Teacher on Special Assignment, and math teachers throughout the district led the way in planning and coordinating the math night for students. The event was for kindergarten through eighth grade students and it was held at Weisenborn Junior High School.
The math night consisted of each grade level getting a dedicated classroom with a grade level teacher volunteer available in each classroom to facilitate the activities. Students were able to play two math games in each room. During the interview, Turney referred to the games as ‘workplaces’ and said they fostered collaboration.
“The workplaces are engaging developmentally appropriate math stations that are ongoing practice with key skills. Many of the workplaces are partner games, but some are actually independent activities or more open-ended partner work,” said Turney.
Moving forward, she says that parents can play these games at home with their students. “When the child feels like they're playing a math game with their parents, they're actually strengthening their math skills at home. Parents have the directions on how to play those games, but they're actually helping their child to be more successful in math class.”
A win-win for both student and parent.
Listen to the full interview for the family math night in episode 3 of The Warrior Path Podcast.
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