On February 27, Captain Albert Stevens School (CASS) in Belfast hosted a Family Math Night for students and parents of RSU 71 elementary schools. The lunchroom and the library were filled and buzzing with
dozens of students and their parents.
Math learning activities included shopping for groceries; laying out a house foundation; playing Mancala; tossing bean bags and keeping score; cards, dice, and board games; counting games for the youngest; telling time and temperature; math stories which gently taught fractions, decimals, and other functions; brain teasers with numbers; statistics taught with ball tossing and spinners; beehive geometry; Tangram puzzles, and more.
The evening began with a pizza supper provided by the CASS Parent-Teacher Group and was attended by 39 students and 30 parents. The evening ended with a parent gathering to evaluate the process while students attended a Math Magic Show.
The game stations were run by 19 volunteers from the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, Penobscot Bay Stewards, and Waldo County Literacy Volunteers. Another Math Night is scheduled for April 9 at East Belfast
In the end, a parent remarked, “I dragged my child to this, and was pleasantly surprised to see he got totally engaged in the games.”
Others said they planned to continue playing math games at home.
Principal Glen Widmer said, “I was completely impressed with the volunteers, their enthusiasm and the depth of the questions they were asking. It was as if they had been working with kids their whole lives. (Which, I guess was true for some of them; I found there were some retired teachers helping out.) Their excitement was contagious, drawing the students in and making for an evening that was the perfect combination of learning and fun.”