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September 19, 2018

Math Nights Successful In Oswego Schools


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OSWEGO, NY – Families get of out the house in the evening to experience a variety of opportunities, but throughout the first semester parents and children join together in a variety of Math Nights which are being conducted in Oswego’s elementary schools.

Pre-schooler Christina Kaleta joins with kindergarten teacher Jennifer Heagerty during the Math Night at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School.

Pre-schooler Christina Kaleta joins with kindergarten teacher Jennifer Heagerty during the Math Night at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School.

Director of Mathematics Carrie Plasse noted, “This is the second year of this project. Word is getting out and we have had some outstanding turnouts. It is a great experience to see children bringing their parents here to experience math in a different way.”

Continuing Plasse said, “Math Night lets the students show their parents the strategies they are learning the classroom. However, we put it in an engaging, fun way of doing math to allow parents to not only witness, but experience math. This is not the same way of doing math that parents and grandparents were involved in when they were in school.”

Today’s elementary school math allows for embedding math into real life problem solving skills and higher thinking.

Plasse explained, “It is no longer simply a teacher showing students how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. It is taking those basic skills and applying them into situations that they will use when they get out in the real world.”

The Oswego City School District places a strong emphasis on mathematics.

Plasse noted that starting at the very early level in kindergarten that parents see their children counting money as they are well aware of nickels, dimes and quarters.

Meanwhile, the sixth graders are doing more algebraic thinking and seeing partnering involved in problem solving that is embedded in every math problem they see.

Riley Elementary teacher Beth Molinari noted, “This year at Math Night we had an outstanding turnout. A large number of students were on hand from every grade level. The youngsters are showing their parents the strategies for working with math and having fun doing it.”

She continued, “I am not surprised at the great number of families that have attended as parents are very supportive and one hundred percent behind their children. They always want to help and this is just one more way of doing that.”

Dr. Randy Richards, principal of Riley School, noted, “This type of effort is a cornerstone for partnerships between parents and schools. It is great for parents, families and teachers to spend a few hours together on the new math. The parents are seeing what the new math is for their children while at the same time playing games with them and seeing how the kids get a hands-on experience in math which enables them to transfer skills from the games to applied math.”

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