My colleague and I are planning a Family Math Night for our students and their parents. We are trying to come up with a direction...

1. Should we focus on games that parents can play at home with their children to strengthen their math facts...especially multiplication?
OR
2. Should we focus on games that meet the five standards of math (number sense, geometry, measurement, etc)?
OR
3. Other?????

Has anyone ever put together a Family Math Night? If so, what did you do? How long did it last? Do you feel it was worthwhile for both the students and parents? ANY input would be greatly appreciated!

My team-teacher put together a really great Family Math Night last year for our 5th graders. It was very well-attended and the kids had a good time. It also looked great for the school!

She had it set up so that parents worked at a "station" with their child. More than one pair could be at each station. She had puzzles, logic questions, tangrams, and stuff like that. She also recreated her office at home, by sectioning off part of the floor with the exact dimensions of her room at home. The kids had to arrange the room so that her furniture fit in it (there was no real furniture there, of course, she just gave them the dimensions and let them work it out. They really liked that. She also had a "supermarket" area (w/ recycled boxes and containers that we teachers had been bringing in for weeks!). She put a price on the bottom of each one and the kids went "shopping" - they had to stay under $25 and were not allowed to peak at the price. That was fun, too.

She had the Math Night in our all-purpose room and some (responsible) 7th graders helped her with the set-up and with manning the stations. (The school provided them w/ pizza, always a good incentive w/ that age group!)

I usually do a Math O' Lanterns night closer to Halloween. Each family that attends gets a pumpkin and then they find the circumference, diameter and radius. They name their pumpkin, write its attributes, weigh it, measure its height, etc. They then post the data on a large chart and make bar graphs about the data of their choice. During the second part of the evening, they estimate and then count the seeds...another opportunity for a graph. Then they carve it geometrically. they then share either in writing or in verbal form their geometric shapes. Families love it.

I also have done a math rotation with task cards set up around the room. Families travel around the room and answer the questions. We have also made tangrams out of craft foam and completed activities using them. We do calculator races...parents against students, logic problems, facts quizzes (again parent against child) magic squares, and problem solving strategy activities. (Students share the strategies that we have been learning in class.) (Sometimes I also give out packets of state test released items so that parents can see what their child needs to know to do well.)

We called ours an "Old-Fashioned Pi Supper"...we served every kind of pie immaginable and the students ran the "store". Pies were purchased in fractional form and the kids had to do the math: 1/8 of a pie was 1/2 of a dollar and stuff like that.

We also had stations that each teacher monitored. Parents could go to any or all of the stations. Mine was about how to measure Pi. I read the book, "Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi" and then we had different size circles for the kids to use to measure pi. It was fun and the positive comments were plenty.

We rotate between a reading night and a math night every year. I think this year we are going to focus on the 100th day of school--and the 1000th day of school for our 5th graders.

I planned a Math/Science Family Night last year for the whole school. Each Grade level had stations set up for parents to visit. That way, parents could visit multiple rooms on their own.

For example....we have four parallels. In each classroom, they completed a different activity in the rooms.

2nd grade A- Science Activity
2nd grade B- Math Activity
2nd grade C- Science Activity
2nd grade D- Math Activity

We only focused on activities that parents could do with their children at home. We wanted to encourage parents to get involved with their child's education and teach them content as well. Each room had a teacher and an assistant to help out and manage the room.

We did not answer specific questions about children...but had buzz times throughout the math night.

For example: (schedule)

6:00-8:00 (duration of math/science night)

at 6:15
6:45
7:15
and 7:45

each room would explain something/strategy or tools that we use or that we were doing in class to help their child at home.

I was a fourth grade teacher at the time, so during one session, we focused on teaching them strategies to practice Multiplication facts and how we taught fractions.

We also made kits for the parents to take home for science and math with things like counters, measuring tape, magnifying lens, mirror (upper grades for refraction/reflection), etc. We asked for donations from businesses and also received free books from the dept. of education for parents.

As a bonus...we had three stations with groceries: (we had a sign up for the staff...so each staff could donate grocery items to the baskets with the price, so we could add it together) ex...cornbread mix, noodles, soap, towels, toilet paper, etc.

A dollar estimation station
and a station with measuring in pounds
and one in kilgrams

Parents could go to different stations, and put their estimated guess. The principal would then announce the closest family estimation and they could take the groceries home.

Low socio-economic school and the parents were really appreciative and we had a good turnout despite the snow that day....I am from Texas, and that is VERY rare where I'm from.

It was a huge success! I hope this helped. If you need more ideas, please let me know. I would like to arrange another one again!