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Family Math Night

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Are you looking for ideas and activities for your family math night? Then you have come to the right place. This is a collections of ideas that will help you plan a successful night.

Math Night
Posted by: Amanda K

Once a year, the whole school does a Math Night wherein each teacher sets up a grade-level math project in his/her classroom. The topics of the projects are given to the parents, and the parents pick three that they want to attend, and rotate among their choices in a block schedule. It runs from about 6:30 to 8. We set it up so that the students are competing against their parents in the projects. For example, I found one of those pattern block books with designs that the students use as puzzles with the pattern blocks. I had a tough one for the adults and an easier one for the kids, and they raced each other to see who could finish first. The projects grew more complicated through the grade levels, of course.

Before the rotations start, everyone meets in the cafeteria, where there is a jar full of jellybeans for an estimation contest. Math Night is a big hit with our families.

Family Math Night
Posted by: teach2all

We have a family math night each year. One of our most popular events is the restaurant. We make up menus, set up tables and chairs and have bags of money already made up (simple for k-2 and more difficult for 3-5). Teachers play hostess and seat families, other teachers are wait staff and write up orders on a pad, other teachers are cashiers (with play registors). After an order is written up the student/family adds the total bill and takes it to the cashier to pay for it.

We have also had a store. We hung ropes throughout the pod and attached pictures of items with a price on an index card. The students/families are given a bag of money (again along the lines of their ability) and they shop for items without going over that price. They take their "purchases" to the cashiers and count out the correct amount of money.

One of the really cool things that we do is in every hallway we hang up different types of graphs (2 or 3 per grade level throughout the school)- tally marks for favorite sports teams, venn diagrams for favorite types of candy, thinking maps that match our theme etc. They parents pictographs for favorite board games etc. Our parents and students love to fill in the graphs as they move from pod to pod activities.

We had a pirate theme this year and another favorite activity was digging for "booty". We purchased some small items from dollar tree, oriental trading, etc. and buried them in pools of sand. The students/families were allowed to dig for a treasure (one per person).

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measurement for parents night
Posted by: Betty Ann Dhein

When our team of second grade teachers had Math Night we had the parents and children measure their height and then their width (measure outstretched arms from one hand to the other including fingertips). Then you make a graph to record the results. Either square (equal measurements), tall rectangle (taller than wide) or wide rectangle (wider than tall). The children enjoyed the process and so did the parents. They had fun adding their names to the chart. You can have long pieces of string if you don't have enough tape measures. The length doesn't matter as much as the concept.

Math Night
Posted by: missd

Our math night at school was designed around specific skills for each grade level and then tied into a theme. We had multiplication and division with the theme insects. Our make and take was edible insects. The instructions for making them were written including multiplication and division problems. (Add 4X3 legs, or 16 divided by 4 antennae) We used licorice strings, gumdrops, marshmellows, etc. The children also wrote their own instructions for imaginary insects using the math problems. I think we used 100 Hungry Ants as one of the read aloud stories. It was alot of fun seeing everyone's creations.

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I did Tangrams....
Posted by: salem

In one of my classes for grad school we had to put on a Math Night for a local elementary school. My partner and I did tangrams. We cut out tangrams from foam sheets in all different colors, placed them in baggies, and made copies of different tangram animal shapes and the basic square. We also set out the book "Grandfather Tang's story."

Our booth was FULL as kids and adults triied to get those pieces back into a square or make the shape--and they swore we were missing a piece or had too many!

The tangrams were a hit---it did take us a while to cut them all out, but the foam was pretty cheap and easy to cut!

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love family math night!!!
Posted by: gaither3

we have family math night twice a year for each grade level at our school. one good idea is that when parents sign in, we usually have them use a venn diagram to sign in with thier children. the venn usually has something to do with the season or something going on in the world (i.e. a double venn could say i completed a picture book this summer, i completed a chapter book this summer). after parents, kids, family signs in we have a wall with about 4 math related trivia questions and sticky notes. the kids and parents take a guess at answering these questions (i.e. questions may be something like - how many white keys are on a piano, etc. some are really hard and some are fairly easy). we use these to give out door prizes at the end of the math night. one of the teachers at our school wrote a grant for math games through pto and she orders math night prizes to give away. we usually try to give away one per FAMILY. the prizes are simple, inexpensive math games.

once they have done that, we do a short number talk in which parents and children can answer and explain their thinking. the two math nights are separated by theme. the first one focuses on subt. and add. the second focuses on multi and div. the parents have the opportunity to walk around with their kids, learning to play math games that we have already learned throughout the school days. the kids already know what games will be played during math night and they can teach thier parents and then play against another family (or if they have a big family, they can play against each other). i try to encourage at least one parent/guardian to play with their child as a team.

game ideas - there is a woman named vasha rosenblum that is out of alabama. she creates WONDERFUL math games and sells them dirt cheap. most of them only consist of using cards, dice, chips. here is a link to her websites there is also a book called fundamentals that has great games that can be copied on card stock and sent home with each group of parents. as far as sending games home, my kids have a math game take home folder and as i introduce games to the kids, i run them off on cardstock and put them in thier folders to take home. this way i don't have to worry about making mass copies for that one night. they will already have the games at home. most of the time the parents have never paid attention to the game and are ready to get home and play them with thier children. we usually call vasha and have her set up in a corner of the room and we give parents a chance to purchase games from her during the night as well. she sells chips, cards, and everything. i hope this helps you out! sorry it's so lengthy.

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another math family fun night!
Posted by: rray

I have a Fun Night coming up...I am riding in on the theme the Title 1 Reading teacher did in the fall...she had an all-nighter on a night that the meteor showers were out...So, I am doing an hour, hour and a half Math Night Among the Stars.
Activities so far:
1. Ordered Pair graphs for some constellations.
2. Asteroid toss (Through holes in a refrigerator box rocket) (Addition of points, comparison with others.)
3. A game that I am making up based on "Get Off My Bridge!" Involving counting on, counting back...I think I will call it, "Shoot for the nearest Planet" or ...if I am in a certain mood, I am tempted to say "Get Off My Planet!" (LOL)
4. Cover the rocket with Attribute blocks
5. Make a rocket with Interlinking Plastic triangles.
I am looking for different idea...anyone have any thoughts?
Thanks, RRay

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Math night
Posted by: tweet

We started doing Math night 3 years ago. I approached my principal with the idea, thinking it would just be for my grade level-third. She okayed the plan, then came back and wanted to expand it to be school-wide. So we did.

Ours is sort of like a Halloween carnival. Every teacher has math activities in their rooms. Families roam from room to room participating in all kinds of activities. We originally had activities that could be replicated at home with materials around the house. This year, though, was our first with a theme "We're Buggy about Math" or "Critter Crazy for Math". (We called it both things.)

The first year our activities ran the gamut from making pattern necklaces out of fruit loops to money activities using supermarket coupons to making Mancala games from egg cartons. The kids got lots of things to take home.

We made some changes the second year, but still followed the basic outline from year one.

This year each activity had something to do with bugs, snakes, frogs, etc. It was also more commercial. Our PTO gave me a big chunk of money and told me to spend it, so I did. Teachers wore safari hats and carried butterfly nets. Jr. high and High school helpers wore antennae made from headbands and pipe cleaners. We had activities such as "Worm Graph"--plunge your hand into a bucket of plastic fishing worms, pull one out, then graph what color you got. One teacher did measurement activities with inch worms. Another had sorting/fraction activities with plastic bugs. Still another was a board game based on the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" where you had to answer math facts to move the spider on the board.

It was all loads of fun. We had activities for kids pre-k through 3rd grade. PTO served a pizza dinner beforehand.

This coming year we are using an Alice in Wonderland theme. There is a wonderful article in one of the recent publications from NCTM. I can't remember which month. But it was in the Teaching Children Mathematics magazine. It described a math night with the Alice theme--LOTS of fun ideas.

Our math nights last from 6:30-8:00.

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Re: Family Math Night
Posted by: Mr. K

I usually do a Math O' Lanterns night closer to Halloween. Each family that attends gets a pumpkin and then they find the circumference, diameter and radius. They name their pumpkin, write its attributes, weigh it, measure its height, etc. They then post the data on a large chart and make bar graphs about the data of their choice. During the second part of the evening, they estimate and then count the seeds...another opportunity for a graph. Then they carve it geometrically. they then share either in writing or in verbal form their geometric shapes. Families love it.

I also have done a math rotation with task cards set up around the room. Families travel around the room and answer the questions. We have also made tangrams out of craft foam and completed activities using them. We do calculator races...parents against students, logic problems, facts quizzes (again parent against child) magic squares, and problem solving strategy activities. (Students share the strategies that we have been learning in class.) (Sometimes I also give out packets of state test released items so that parents can see what their child needs to know to do well.)

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Family Math Night
Posted by: misslisa5730

I am the Math Coordinator for our school, and last year we had a successful family math night. I contacted the Math coordinator for the district and had her come and start the evening off as a guest speaker. She talked about the new math program our district has adopted and answered any questions our parents had about it.
After the speaker, parents were invited to visit several classrooms where teachers had set up math experiences: a math bingo room, math logic game room, two rooms dedicated to books available that were math related (one room had math related fiction books, and the other had math tutorial books for students and parents), and we had our computer lab opened so parents could view the math related software students used in school.

In the hallways, I had recruited many eager 6th graders who were set up with small tables and were teaching parents how to play the math games that are part of our new math program. Most of the games used either a regular deck of playing cards or a pair of dice. I had begged local businesses for cards and dice, and was able to give each family that came to the event a package that contained a book listing all the games with directions, a new deck of cards, and a pair of dice.

To end the night, our PTA set up an ice cream sundae bar and everyone who visited all the rooms (they recieved stamps on their hands in each room to show they'd been there) got a free sundae as a thank you for attending.

The evening was a great success and we are planning more of them for this year!

math night
Posted by: lmh

Have you considered using activities with the newspaper? For our math night one year, our local paper sent a rep from NIE, Newspapers in Education. There are things you can do for math and literature nights. it can cover addition, subtraction, statistics, etc. so there is a wide age range. We also had each class post a graph that the families had to fill out with post-it notes. Something simple like favorite kind of movie, or candy bar, or number of people in your household. Then each class had an estimation jar of some kind and we used these as door prizes for those who came closest. The library even had a guess the amount of books contest. you could also have stations to measure and weigh things. We like to combine books with everything, so using the M&M's counting book or Hershey book is great. Also the tangram book...Grandfather Tang? Hope this helped. Michelle

Re: Family Math Night
Posted by: tammynj

My team-teacher put together a really great Family Math Night last year for our 5th graders. It was very well-attended and the kids had a good time. It also looked great for the school!

She had it set up so that parents worked at a "station" with their child. More than one pair could be at each station. She had puzzles, logic questions, tangrams, and stuff like that. She also recreated her office at home, by sectioning off part of the floor with the exact dimensions of her room at home. The kids had to arrange the room so that her furniture fit in it (there was no real furniture there, of course, she just gave them the dimensions and let them work it out. They really liked that. She also had a "supermarket" area (w/ recycled boxes and containers that we teachers had been bringing in for weeks!). She put a price on the bottom of each one and the kids went "shopping" - they had to stay under $25 and were not allowed to peak at the price. That was fun, too.

She had the Math Night in our all-purpose room and some (responsible) 7th graders helped her with the set-up and with manning the stations. (The school provided them w/ pizza, always a good incentive w/ that age group!)

Have fun!

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Ours was a success
Posted by: Carrie in WV

We called ours an "Old-Fashioned Pi Supper"...we served every kind of pie immaginable and the students ran the "store". Pies were purchased in fractional form and the kids had to do the math: 1/8 of a pie was 1/2 of a dollar and stuff like that.

We also had stations that each teacher monitored. Parents could go to any or all of the stations. Mine was about how to measure Pi. I read the book, "Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi" and then we had different size circles for the kids to use to measure pi. It was fun and the positive comments were plenty.

We rotate between a reading night and a math night every year. I think this year we are going to focus on the 100th day of school--and the 1000th day of school for our 5th graders.

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Family Math Night
Posted by: Tracy

I did a Family Math Night in the library, which I worked in after school. It went so well, I thought about doing it for my 4th graders. Many of the activities involved cooperative grouping, which was great because it got everyone involved and everyone talking with one another. The activities I used came from a book called "Family Math." The book is great. It has cooperative actvities kids can use for every area you teach. It also uses critical thinking skills. If you are interested, it is authored by Jean Kerr Stenmark, Virginia Thompson, and Ruth Cossey. It is published by Lawrence Hall of Science.