Moving & Learning Families Project

National Math Foundation’s ‘Moving & Learning Families Project’ will equip 2nd-5th grade students and their parents/guardians with movement-based learning strategies, materials, and virtual training. This project will physically, mentally, and emotionally re-engage them in mathematics while at home.

Our project will provide 100 high-need students with kinesthetic learning materials for multiplication and division as well as virtual professional development for their parents/guardians over the course of 10 weeks. These weekly virtual sessions will not only strengthen the mathematical skills and confidence of students but will also equip parents/guardians with the techniques and confidence to help their children succeed in math while learning from home. These sessions will happen both synchronously and asynchronously.

A 10-Week, Hands-on Multiplication Mastery Course!

A one-hour virtual session will jumpstart the rest of the 10-week program. During this session, students and their families will be trained on how to use the kinesthetic materials. By the beginning of the lesson, students will have received a Skip Counting by 3’s mat, a 1-100 Multiplication Mat, a Skip Counting Desktop Charts, a hard copy of one workbook for each child in a participating family, and multiple electronic workbooks. 

Parents/guardians will receive hard copies of both the Math & Movement Training Manual and The 3’s Book for extra practice. At the end of the first session, students will be eager to bring their materials home and practice what they’ve learned.

All subsequent virtual sessions for the following 10 weeks will take place either at the local, partnering community center or at the students’ homes. Pre-recorded sessions will follow along with the workbooks. This allows students and their families the freedom to choose when to watch (and interact with) the session during the week. Each session will be 30 minutes and happen twice a week. Minimizing screen time and maintaining focus while learning is important for kids both mentally and physically, which is why each session will be only half an hour. Furthermore, the movement-based activities planned for each session will strengthen their focus and add an element of fun that they would not usually receive from online schooling. 

The first 8 weeks will be dedicated to mastering multiplication concepts. The final two weeks will cover division and enjoyable algebraic concepts. In total, students will have had 20 virtual sessions over the course of 10 weeks. This gives students more than 20 hours of multiplication and division practice (including study time) outside of school.

Parent Support and Virtual Training

Because each family will have new materials, it is also imperative they are educated on how to use them. We also want them to have a time to ask any questions they have about their child’s work with the materials. During the 10-week program for students, parents/guardians will be given the opportunity to attend weekly virtual training sessions every week. During this one-hour session, parents/guardians can ask questions about the week’s lesson or the materials used to solve the problems.

What is covered in the adult sessions will run simultaneously with what students will be covering in their own sessions; the first 8 weeks will focus on mastering multiplication, while the final two weeks will cover division and algebraic concepts. This approach will guarantee that students and their parents/guardians are on the same page and can maximize practice time without too many questions or misunderstandings.

A Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has not only changed the way we educate our children, but it is also threatening our children’s health and their confidence in math, specifically multiplication and division, which are the mainstays for nearly every future mathematical concept that they will come across. 

In addition to the academic concerns, our students face other health challenges. Many of these challenges stem from the fact that students are not exercising while in quarantine. This lack of exercise has the potential to not only cause future health conditions like heart disease and obesity, but it also decreases immune cell function, which could pose a significantly direct threat to student lives during the global pandemic. To be more effective learners, students need to be energized! They need to increase their focus so they can learn new skills and build the capacity for more complex concepts.

A Focus on Multiplication: students are behind in math!

Because math is cumulative, success in core math concepts like multiplication is extremely important. Multiplication mastery leads to success with division, factoring, fractions, and algebra. It also increases the likelihood that a student will earn a high school diploma. This project will support students’ acquisition of multiplication skills in a distinctly remote setting, where families can practice with their children while they learn at home!

It is important that students do not fall behind in such a fundamentally essential skill as we transition to and from online classrooms. And, we cannot let students who are already behind, continue to fall through the cracks. It is also important to remind parents/guardians and their children of their strength and resilience during this global pandemic. Our unique, twofold goal strives to help both parent and child learn and grow together. This goal of helping parents learn math alongside their children increases parental engagement and support with their child’s homework. Moreover, the training boosts confidence in their ability to use math in their own profession or find and enter a STEM career.

Evaluations and Expected Outcomes

Success will be evaluated by both pre- and post-testing of students. Pre-testing will be done during the first session. The testing material will come from the workbooks/worksheets given to each student. At the beginning of the session, each student will be asked to work on assigned workbook problems for one minute. Students will then hand in their pre-test to be graded. The results will be cataloged to show individual progress over the course of the program. 

Students will be tested once more at the end of the program. The results will showcase how much they have learned cumulatively since their first pre-test. Also, all participants will fill out an evaluation at the end of the program to identify what was successful and what could be improved.

How you can get involved!

Our intent is for any donation or applied funding to be used as “organizational grants.” These grants would provide funds for programs at local community/event centers that have families in need of additional educational support (i.e. activity centers, Salvation Army, 4-H programs, YMCA’s, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.). Through these grants, students and their family units will receive virtual professional development training, books, and kinesthetic materials.

If you or your teachers are interested in participating or partnering in this project, please contact info@nationalmathfoundation.org for more information!

If you are interested in supporting this project through a donation, please navigate to our “Donate” page!

Learn About The American Rescue Plan

The federal government is sending funds to schools to help students get back to grade-level due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about how you can help to get those funds to the right places, click the link below.