Reinforcement of Math Values Outside the School Environment
Teaching assistants organize events such as “Family Fun Nights” that extend learning and the importance of math, nutrition, physical activity, and literacy beyond normal class hours and into a lifestyle. These events give over 300 individuals including families, community members, and other students the opportunity to learn together in a non-threatening and fun environment. This increases visibility and creates opportunities for future collaboration and funding.
Family Fun Nights
At the beginning of the Math & Movement™ Family Fun Night, volunteers (fourth and fifth grade students, middle and high school students, parents, teachers, and community members) will be trained in how to lead the activities. During the remaining time, parents and children will move from station to station, learning the math activities while completing a Math & Movement™ activity guide. In order to strengthen our parents’ ability to assist their children with more challenging math, our project includes two e-books for parents: both the instructor guide and the companion student workbook titled Multiply With Me, Learning to Multiply Can Be Fun. The multiplication book is enrichment for students in grades K-2. A student can do the book as soon as they can count to 100. The workbook has large print to encourage reluctant math students. Parent events will be evaluated using pre- and post-event surveys of participants. Benefits of each Family Fun Night include the following:
- Elementary students strengthen their math skills through enjoyable activities.
- Parents’ confidence in tutoring their children increases.
- The math skills of volunteers improve. How often do we hear Americans say, “I can’t do math?” During the evening, volunteers have math-related “aha” moments along with students.
- Older students have the important opportunity to improve their own math skills through helping younger students. The process of teaching always solidifies one’s own knowledge.
- The community is encouraged to join together to increase its collective math and reading ability.
- Strong school/community relationships are promoted.
- Parent (caregiver)/child bonds are strengthened.