|Grade span:||K to 8|
|Duration:||30 minutes to 2 hours|
Description:Family Math Nights allow family and community to attend a variety of events and have fun exploring content, activities, and games that support mathematical learning. Participants play and learn with students and instructors as they circulate among centers, stations, or between events. Math Nights provide parents the opportunity to develop mathematical thinking along with their children, while at the same time learning strategies, games, and activities they can use at home to support their child.
What to Do:Planning is an integral step for a successful Family Math Night. Key planning steps include:
- Establishing goals (Is there a particular topic or learning strategy that will be taught? Will it be a celebration of student work?)
- Location (Will the event be held in the school cafeteria, classrooms, gymnasium, community center, etc.?)
- Attendance (How many people will be invited? A certain grade range? The entire afterschool program?)
- Date and time (Does an evening or Saturday work better for parents? Make sure to check community and school calendar for conflicts.)
- Staffing (Do you need a steering committee to help in the planning and execution? Where will the volunteers come from?)
- A steering committee can help with the planning of the event. You might consider individuals who could fill roles such as Event Coordinator, Publicity Coordinator, Activities Coordinator (plans and makes sure materials are present for learning activities), Food/Prize Coordinator, Community Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, etc.
- Volunteers can be afterschool staff, day-school teachers, parents, students, school administration, or community volunteers. Volunteers will be useful to serve as greeters, registration help, activity facilitators, etc. the day of the event.
- Time allotment during event (How will the time during the event be broken up? If discussing a particular learning strategy, one suggestion might be to establish activity centers that parents and students visit and participate in activities around that goal for the first 30 to 45 minutes of the night. Then allow 30 minutes for all of the participants to reconvene and discuss their experiences with the activities, the learning that occurred, and how this might be used in the home setting.)
- Promotion of event (How will news of the event spread? Letters to volunteers? Announcements/flyers to families? Letters to teachers describing the event and requesting support? Press releases? Hearing about the event many times and in many ways tends to increase attendance.)
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Parent responsiveness and attendance
- Parent and student engagement in learning
- Increase in parent involvement
- Increased parent awareness about mathematics
- Increased parent awareness about math homework help
- New ideas from parents
- Increased communication between home and school