Family Math Means Family Fun!

Family Math Means Family Fun! To date, 131 teachers (69 from the CSRA!) have been trained in Family Math/Family Science by CSRA leadership trainers. Gwen Johnson and Shirley Makin have shared the program with teams of teachers from North Aiken, Busbee, Kelly Edwards, Macedonia, W.E. Parker, Merriwether, Douglas, Allendale, and Fairfax Elementary Schools; and JET, Allendale-Fairfax, and Paul Knox Middle Schools. Each team has taken the resources gained in the 3-day workshop and tailored them to fit the needs and interests of the families of their schools. Since November 1994, six Family Math/Family Science cycles and two Family Fun Days/Nights have taken place at the various schools. Several others are planned for later this year. Last spring, North Aiken wowed their parents and children with a 3-evening Family Extravaganza that included math, science and reading. Activities for the first night sharpened the parents' and students' problem-solving skills at the “Frog Pond” in a challenging game of strategy and intrigue (Nim game). On the second evening, families met under the "Big Top" for activities such as the Balancing Clown (center of mass exploration). On the third night, families traveled "Around the World in 80 Minutes" where they met Madame Curie in their science class in France, took a problem-solving Balloon Ride in math, and read their way across the Atlantic to meet Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters off the coast of Africa. After their worldly journeys, the 2nd and 3rd graders and their families enjoyed a spaghetti dinner sponsored by Smith-Kline Beecham. In October, Kelly Edwards helped the parents of their 4-year old kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students experience ways to teach their children patterning, geometry, measurement, numeration, probability and statistics. One set of parents were so intrigued after the first night that they came to the second session without their child who was sick. Another family gave their 1st grade soccer player the option of going to his regular Monday night soccer game or taking Family Math. Guess what Matthew chose? Family Math!! Paul Knox blew Channel 6 News away as their families learned geometry, patterning and mathematics history through the bubbles made with dish washing liquid. Each school that sponsored a multi-night cycle experienced a growing enrollment of enthusiastic parents and children with wonderful tales to tell about their experiences. All trained teachers have found the math and science lessons to be useful not only for their families, but have used many of them in their daytime classes as well. As one teacher put it, "Family Math opened my eyes greatly to the importance of hands-on. I knew that it needed to be done, but now I realize why."

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