Parents and students used poker chips, M&Ms, a deck of cards, drawings and other everyday visual materials during Math Night at the Southwest Campus Thursday.
The concept of games, time limits and hands-on interaction helps participants focus on mastery, not memorization, so that children understand math on a deeper level.
"It helps build a stronger connection in parents to classroom learning and reinforces the role they have as active participants in the education of their children," said Rogelio Calimag, an instructional coach at The Varnett Public School.
With campus director Ni'Cole Mukes and several teachers on hand, Math Night attracted only 28 parents. However, the shared enthusiasm they exhibited with their children resonated throughout the Southwest Campus cafeteria.
One exercise challenged families to arrange different pictures, use critical thinking and to follow instruction, Mr. Calimag said. In essence, students can learn math through visualization rather than simply putting pencil to paper to add, subtract, multiply and divide. This approach helps the participant understand how things work. "It also provides great ways to involve parents in their child's school experience."
It was clear during the 90-minute session that parents and their children were not only learning concepts but having fun too.
Ms. Wynette Syers explains why she brought her fourth-grade daughter, Taylor, to the Southwest Campus for Math Night Thursday. (Video)