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September 24, 2018

Family Math Nights Provide Rich Learning Experience


OSWEGO, NY – “Games are Fun!”

Sue Thompson and Aidan Thompson enjoy “Family Math Night” at the Minetto Elementary School.

Sue Thompson and Aidan Thompson enjoy “Family Math Night” at the Minetto Elementary School.

Oswego City School District elementary age children and parents played games, laughed, shouted with right moves and simply had a good time.

The reason for celebration was the annual Oswego City School District “Family Math Nights” which were held in all five elementary schools.

The events brought families, teachers, administrators and even some members of the Oswego City School District Board of Education to the gaming tables.

Director of Mathematic Carrie Plasse was extremely excited over the success of this year’s effort.

She said, “Students and parents enjoyed the evening and in fact in some school the children were so engrossed in playing the games they didn’t touch the snacks until almost the end of the evening. I had to remind them that snacks were available.”

Allison Inman and her daughter, Amber Tickle, mark their score during one of the games at the “Family Math Night.”

Allison Inman and her daughter, Amber Tickle, mark their score during one of the games at the “Family Math Night.”

In cooperation with Academic Intervention Service, teachers in each elementary school brought children and parents in to participate in a family math night.

Plasse explained, “There are numerous reasons for conducting these evening events. Mathematics is quite important and we want to show parents some of the unique games that children are playing in the classroom in the ‘Everyday Math’ program. These games are used to reinforce basic math fact practice and encourage problem solving. Teachers modeled the games and explained the directions, but the time was spent with the child and parents playing the games.”

Parents were also shown how easy these games are to replicate at home and each school staff provided game board templates and a packet of instructions.

The parents were also encouraged to continue playing the games at home so students are practicing the math facts outside of the classroom.

Plasse added, “The evening consisted of 15 to 18 stations and the games were organized for primary and intermediate students. We encouraged students to move through the various stations and even try games that they had not played before.”

Home and school get together for the “Family Math Night” as Matt Saltalamachia joins his son, Stephen, and teacher Christy Stepien in one of the many games.

Home and school get together for the “Family Math Night” as Matt Saltalamachia joins his son, Stephen, and teacher Christy Stepien in one of the many games.

One example of an intermediate game was “Multiplication Baseball” where students practice their multiplication facts through 12 as they ‘run the bases.’

Plasse also noted, “One of the primary games was ‘Coin Exchange’ where students practice exchanging coin equivalencies for quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. This helps to reinforce the understanding of coin equivalency examples such as two nickels make a dime, ten pennies make a dime, a nickel and five pennies make a dime and so on and so on.”

Credit for organizing the Family Math Night was given to Jennifer Cahill (Leighton), Beth Molinari (Charles E. Riley), John Rice (Fitzhugh), Christy Stepien (Kingsford) and Jen Szkotak (Minetto).

Plasse summarized the events and the genuine learning experience by saying, “It is important to show that learning math is not always about skill and drill, but can be fun and exciting by playing games.”

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