WES Brings Parents and Students Together for ‘Math Matters Night’

Post date: Feb 26, 2014 5:1:7 PM

It is a widely held notion that young children who are read to frequently at home develop much faster into proficient and confident readers. According to Wells Elementary School Math Content Coach Celeste Beaulieu the same principle holds true for math.

“When parents show an interest in math and make it part of their everyday family life, and if they do math together, kids become more successful in math,” commented Beaulieu.

Similar to last November’s Family Literacy Night, WES held a ‘Math Matters Night’ on February 6th bringing over 200 parents and their elementary-age children together for a couple of hours of math games and problem solving.

It was an evening that began with pizza, carrot sticks and water in the cafeteria. After dinner, Beaulieu presented a Power Point presentation directed towards parents. In it she explained the importance of math and making sure their children are comfortable and confident in their math abilities.

Beaulieu suggested ways in which parents, and other family members, can help children understand math concepts primarily through the use of “good questioning”. According to Beaulieu, children’s answers to questions such as “How do you know that?” or “Can you show me?” can not only be surprising but reveal a child's thinking process. Knowing this process can enable a parent to be able to support their child at the appropriate developmental level.

After the presentation, attendees rotated in and out of ‘math stations’ aptly named Pizza Problem Puzzler, Games-Games-Games, Math Matters Mysteries and Greg Tang Challenges. Each station was designed to provide opportunities for parents to ask questions as well as time to interact and play mathematical activities with their children.

In an interview, Beaulieu indicated the importance of helping the youngest of students develop their critical thinking skills which can bring about confidence needed to tackle math problems all the while knowing that if they make a mistake, it is not failure, but an opportunity to learn. “It’s nothing bad and it is part of the learning cycle,” she said.

At the end of the evening, a raffle for a variety of math related board games was held.

Beaulieu wishes to thank the many staff members who volunteered their time to help make Math Matters happen. She also wishes to thank Alfredo’s Italian Pizzeria for discounted pizza, Hannaford for a $25 gift card, Subway for cookies and the PTSA for the funds needed to purchase prizes and food.

Caption: Winners of Math Matters Night game prizes: (l to r) Aiden Drew, Charles Okiru, Ava Tavares, Grace Seguin, and Sarah Ackerman.

Caption: Cathy Fox with Brady (left) and Brooks in the computer classroom at Wells Elementary School on Math Matters Night.

Caption: One of 'Math Matters’ math stations (school library) named Pizza Problem Puzzlers. This station was all about presenting word problems to students based upon grade level and common core math standards.