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Joined: Apr 2006
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,746
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Math night
Old 06-17-2008, 12:48 PM
 

We started doing Math night 3 years ago. I approached my principal with the idea, thinking it would just be for my grade level-third. She okayed the plan, then came back and wanted to expand it to be school-wide. So we did.

Ours is sort of like a Halloween carnival. Every teacher has math activities in their rooms. Families roam from room to room participating in all kinds of activities. We originally had activities that could be replicated at home with materials around the house. This year, though, was our first with a theme "We're Buggy about Math" or "Critter Crazy for Math". (We called it both things.)

The first year our activities ran the gamut from making pattern necklaces out of fruit loops to money activities using supermarket coupons to making Mancala games from egg cartons. The kids got lots of things to take home.

We made some changes the second year, but still followed the basic outline from year one.

This year each activity had something to do with bugs, snakes, frogs, etc. It was also more commercial. Our PTO gave me a big chunk of money and told me to spend it, so I did. Teachers wore safari hats and carried butterfly nets. Jr. high and High school helpers wore antennae made from headbands and pipe cleaners. We had activities such as "Worm Graph"--plunge your hand into a bucket of plastic fishing worms, pull one out, then graph what color you got. One teacher did measurement activities with inch worms. Another had sorting/fraction activities with plastic bugs. Still another was a board game based on the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" where you had to answer math facts to move the spider on the board.

It was all loads of fun. We had activities for kids pre-k through 3rd grade. PTO served a pizza dinner beforehand.

This coming year we are using an Alice in Wonderland theme. There is a wonderful article in one of the recent publications from NCTM. I can't remember which month. But it was in the Teaching Children Mathematics magazine. It described a math night with the Alice theme--LOTS of fun ideas.

Our math nights last from 6:30-8:00.
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