On Thursday April 27th, 2017 Moraine Hills Public School (MHPS) hosted their Second Annual Family Math Night which was a huge success!
For those of you who are unsure of what Math Night is, "Math Night is a fun, shared experience that promotes family involvement with math, builds strong family-school partnerships, creates a sense of community, and connects family engagement to student learning" (Family Math Night, 2016).
Last year I had the opportunity of participating in this evening through facilitating the "Bear Tracks" math game in the Kindergarten room with my teaching partner at the time, Trista Dutt. If you would like to see more about last years event please scroll back in the feed to my blog post entitled, "First Annual Family Math Night" where you can see how it all began.
This year, I excitedly took on a leadership role as Chairperson for the event which was a huge honor and great experience for me as a new Teacher. I worked alongside many wonderful staff, including: my Principal Deborah Snow, my Vice Principal Jonathan Weisinger, fellow Teachers, DECE's, Teacher Candidates, and Student Volunteers to co-plan and implement a fun-filled evening with a focus on learning important skills in Mathematics!
This post will highlight the steps that we took in the planning and preparation of our event, as well as showcasing the many stations and activities that MHPS had to offer!
It is best to begin the planning at least 1 month and a half- 2 months before the event to ensure we have enough time to plan, prepare, and implement effectively. Once you have your volunteers you can host weekly/bi-weekly meetings to determine who would like to facilitate what activity. During these meetings we also determined what materials and resources we had in our school and which materials needed to be purchased. We kept track of all of these lists and information in a Google Drive that was shared with all participating staff members. Once we knew what needed to be purchased, I would purchase the items and then submit the receipts. Each staff member was asked to prepare materials and a one page parent handout for their activity. I created a template which the staff filled in, so that we could maintain consistency in information presented and appearance (Templates were a staff request). Any signs, posters, and name tags were created by our grade 6, 7, & 8 students whom we refer to as our wonderful "Creative Team" whom I supervised during lunch recesses. We invited parents through an electronic survey which informed us of the number of families and children attending per household. We also sent out a paper reminder in class to ensure that we are reaching all of our families, even those without computers or smart phones. After each meeting I sent out a meeting summary and weekly goals so that everyone stayed connected, informed, and on track.
Our staff volunteered their time after school to help set up their activity or station. The event began at 6:30p.m. and ended at 8:30p.m. During the event, everyone was not just facilitating their activity but interacting with parents and modelling a positive mindset towards mathematics and learning!
Our VP recruited a STEM team which provided various challenges and of course... GIANT LEGO!
Within the York Region District School Board and our Moraine Hills School Community, we recognize the importance of Mental Health Awareness and two of our staff members (on the Equity and Healthy Schools Committee) ran this station at our event. It allowed our students and their parents to learn about different strategies to help them cope with stress. It also provided them with an opportunity to reflect on if they have found or would find it to be helpful for them to utilize when they were feeling stressed. We also sold Smencils, which were scented pencils and all proceeds were donated to CAMH which is a centre for addiction and mental health.
For more information about Math Night, as well as obtaining parent handouts and resources, please visit: www.familymathnight.com
For more information about Mental Health & Mathematics, please visit: http://bit.ly/mentalhealth_math (this is a YRDSB resource, must be an employee to access)
Our board encourages educators to share their thinking and learning, as well as their students' thinking and learning through using the following hashtags:
I felt that this event went very well because of our amazing TEAM! Each of you pulled your strengths and resources together and dedicated your time to help such a positive event and I thank each and every one of you! It was amazing to see all of the pieces come together. It was also nice to see a big turnout because this means that we have a lot of parents in our community who are willing to receive resources and supports to build connections between the learning at school and the learning at home. I would most definitely take on this role again and continue to co-plan and facilitate Family Math Nights for each year to come!
~Rose Anna Marcelli, OCT, RECE