we have family math night twice a year for each grade level at our school. one good idea is that when parents sign in, we usually have them use a venn diagram to sign in with thier children. the venn usually has something to do with the season or something going on in the world (i.e. a double venn could say i completed a picture book this summer, i completed a chapter book this summer). after parents, kids, family signs in we have a wall with about 4 math related trivia questions and sticky notes. the kids and parents take a guess at answering these questions (i.e. questions may be something like - how many white keys are on a piano, etc. some are really hard and some are fairly easy). we use these to give out door prizes at the end of the math night. one of the teachers at our school wrote a grant for math games through pto and she orders math night prizes to give away. we usually try to give away one per FAMILY. the prizes are simple, inexpensive math games.

once they have done that, we do a short number talk in which parents and children can answer and explain their thinking. the two math nights are separated by theme. the first one focuses on subt. and add. the second focuses on multi and div. the parents have the opportunity to walk around with their kids, learning to play math games that we have already learned throughout the school days. the kids already know what games will be played during math night and they can teach thier parents and then play against another family (or if they have a big family, they can play against each other). i try to encourage at least one parent/guardian to play with their child as a team.

game ideas - there is a woman named vasha rosenblum that is out of alabama. she creates WONDERFUL math games and sells them dirt cheap. most of them only consist of using cards, dice, chips. here is a link to her websites

http://mathgamesk-5.com/ there is also a book called fundamentals that has great games that can be copied on card stock and sent home with each group of parents. as far as sending games home, my kids have a math game take home folder and as i introduce games to the kids, i run them off on cardstock and put them in thier folders to take home. this way i don't have to worry about making mass copies for that one night. they will already have the games at home. most of the time the parents have never paid attention to the game and are ready to get home and play them with thier children. we usually call vasha and have her set up in a corner of the room and we give parents a chance to purchase games from her during the night as well. she sells chips, cards, and everything. i hope this helps you out! sorry it's so lengthy.