Jones County elementary school students participated in a virtual family math night recently, where they learned math from the comfort of their homes through various games and other activities.
Shelley Dunlap, Title 1 Family Engagement Coordinator, said the exciting part of the virtual family math night was getting to try something new and seeing how successful it was. She said the students really enjoyed the event.
“The virtual family math night was a program that allowed families to login to a platform online, and then participate in five different math activities,” she said. “Once they were on the platform, they could move at their own pace. They were provided a packet of materials in advance that they would need, and the platform tallied who won at the end.”
She said they had an origami station that helped students with geometry, a gaming station, an estimation station, a station that helped them notice differences, and a scavenger hunt. She said the scavenger hunt helped show them that math is right in their homes.
“At the end of the night we had a survey and every parent said they could see how they could incorporate math into everyday living. That was something that was very important. It’s not just about opening a math book, it’s all over. It’s important for them to see how they can help their children work at home with those math skills,” Dunlap said.
Melody Nebel, who is also a Title 1 Family Engagement Coordinator, said her favorite thing about the virtual family math night was seeing families interact together despite the event being virtual.
She said since faceto-face events aren’t an option, they still wanted to show parents how important it is to engage with their children and their learning. She said as family engagement coordinators, their responsibilities don’t go away on educating parents on how to help their children succeed in school, so going virtual was a great option for the event.
“We had families say they were playing the games the next night, and the kids just loved it,” she said. “We’ve gotten really good feedback from the virtual family math night. We’re glad the students had such a great time.”
Allison 011er, a parent who participated with her son, Scout, said they both really enjoyed the virtual family math night event.
“We had a blast and it was all hands-on. It was very age appropriate,” 011er said. “The games gave us several opportunities to review concepts, and it also challenged us to learn new math.”
Nebel said it was important for the students to do this in Jones County because they got to do the activities with their family right in the comfort of their own homes. She said if they missed something, they had opportunities to go back, which is something that can’t be done at a real life event.
“Sometimes I think the students only think the math is at school, but now they can see how math is all around us,” she said. “Plus they are learning so much just by playing games and having conversations with their parents. This makes learning fun.”