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July 16, 1998
Planning a Family Math Night
Related Links
Azalea Middle School Family Math Night
EQUALS: Family Math and Family Science
Family Math
also available through Amizon
Cool Math - What's New?
Letters to Teachers and Volunteers
Family Math Night
Family Math 95/96
Math by All Means Series
Math by All Means : Division, Grades 3-4 (Math by All Means Series)
Math by All Means : Geometry Grade 2
Math by All Means : Geometry Grade 3
Math by All Means : Money, Grades 1-2 (Math by All Means Series)
Math by All Means : Multiplication
Math by All Means : Place Value Grade 2
Math by All Means : Probability Grades 3-4
Math by All Means : Probability
Math by All Means : Area and Perimeter

Anne/K/FL - Hi April!
Anne/K/FL - Are you here for the Math Night.
April - Hi Anne! This is my first time I've been brave enough to try this! How about you?
Anne/K/FL - Well, I am going to be leading the discussion tonight what grade do you teach?
April - I teach grade 8.
Anne/K/FL - Have you ever done a Family Math Night?
April - Yes, in fact it was quite well attended and well received.
Anne/K/FL - Valerie, have you done a Family Math Night?
Valerie S. - I am interested in logistics...we did a Family Science Night last year and over 400 people (over 100 families) attended.
Valerie S. - Since we did Family Science last year, we are committed to doing Family Math this year.
Anne/K/FL - What do you already know about a Family Math Night?
Bob R/CA - Hi Anne, thanks for being here tonight! :o)
Valerie S. - Anne...A co-worker and I attended a 4 day class on Family Science and Family Math last summer.
April - Our school is not that large, we have a total population of about 400 and approximately 100 people attended. We divided them by divisions.
Anne/K/FL - Did everyone attend in one night or did you have more than one night scheduled?
April - We scheduled a different night for each division so we could concentrate on specific curriculum requirements.
Anne/K/FL - Did you incorporate help and volunteers?
Anne/K/FL - What do you want to know about Family Math Night?
April - Yes! I arranged for the math consultant to attend and we arranged centers for parents to experience the same type of activities as their would during class.
Valerie S. - April...did your families rotate around to the centers?
Anne/K/FL - Hi Luanne maybe you and Valerie can share some of what you learned in your 4 day class..
LuAnne J - VAl and I put on a Family Science Night last year.... this coming year is for Family Math, so we need lots of info
April - Yes! They had approximately 20 minutes on each center.
Valerie S. - How have you handled that Anne? We are afraid that parents will socialize while the kids "play"
Grace/IL - Anne, I assume you've had a family math night at the KG level. How did this work?
Valerie S. - During Family Science we put all the activities on tables so they wouldn't have to move!
LuAnne J - Yes, our parents love to socialize!
Anne/K/FL - Actually the children and parents were together and loved the experience. We had great feedback from students and parents.
Anne/K/FL - Our school did 3 family Math Nights and grouped 2 grade levels together.
Grace/IL - Anne, did you also use activity centers? If so, what kinds?
Valerie S. - long was each?
MEL - Anne, sorry if you already said this but I work with "country" kids and their parents don't come to school unless there is a program. How do I get them to want to come?
Anne/K/FL - There was a lot of movement, many stations, a lot of activity, noisy but very well organized.
April - We also had some "rewards", thoughtfully provided by my math consultant, such as packages of tangrams. We really had no trouble with socializing. The students were anxious to "teach" their parents how to complete the tasks.
LuAnne J - Did you have a hard time getting them back together to present the next math activity with all the movement and noise?
SarahW/2/TX - Last year was our best Family Math night ever. Lots of stations, all grade level (K-5) people just went form station to station. We are a small school with minimal parental involvement, but we had 60 families join us!
Anne/K/FL - We did alot of PR, put posters up, articles in the newsletter, brainwashed the kids, gave free homework passes, had prizes, put cute little advertisements on morning announcements.
LuAnne J - Sarah, did you just have a teacher at each station to help out or how did you organize?
SarahW/2/TX - mel-- feed 'em!! WE had chili dogs and chips. free to kids $1.00 for adults--also door prizes!
Anne/K/FL - No, they had passports and stickers they could randomly go to a center and stay for as long as they wanted.
April - Mel are you referring to a specific grade, division or school.
LuAnne J - Food always works!
Anne/K/FL - Yes, Sarah we had refreshments, too.
SarahW/2/TX - Luanne--yes, a teacher was at each station.
MEL - Sarah, I thought about that. It does bring them in when they get food
LuAnne J - Val, I like the idea of just having different stations set up, what do you think?
Valerie S. - It still scares me!
Anne/K/FL - We had high school kids as volunteers and they made a lot of centers.
SarahW/2/TX - We asked that they sign up ahead of time if they were going to come eat.
MEL - April, I'm an assistant principal and we have never done this before. Our principal is a former PE teacher and new to his position. I need advice on how to set this up. Do I do the entire school or certain grade level or what?
Anne/K/FL - Where did you get you ideas for centers?
LuAnne J - The food scares me, Ladies Guild would have to take over that Val!
Anne/K/FL - Mel, there is a great book called Family Math!
Valerie S. - We are a K-8 school and we have talked about last names A-M one night N-Z another. A lot of older kid's families don't come.
Tony B/CA - As a former upper elementary teacher, I had the opportunity to work a number of Family Math Nights. Stations worked great. We had kids and their parents fill out choice cards prior to the event, then we tried our best to group them into the events they desired. We had 6 stations, 25 minute sessions, 4 sessions per family (with a 15 minute break between sessions 2 and 3)...
SarahW/2/TX - mel--we have done it just for certain grade levels and at times certain grade levels have just worked on certain strands. It can work many ways.
April - Mel, Our school set it up by division so we could cover specific curriculum requuirements. This appeared to work very well.
MEL - Tony, would you give an example of choices.
Anne/K/FL - We had door prizes and little prizes at each station.
Val/1/WI - My son's school did a math night that I thought was great. Now I want to do it at my school. Any suggestions on how to get the rest of the teachers in my school interested.
KJ/IL - What math programs do you guys use??
LuAnne J - How did you get the stations to move, Tony B?
Sandy/K/Mo - we are a k-8 school and it was kdg. & first with families (that brought older brothers and sisters too)
SarahW/2/TX - The only thing I don't like about timed stations is the same problem I have with my classroom-some one is always done early and a few haven't finished yet!! ;-)
Sandy/K/Mo - we did our math night around the 100th day of school, had all kinds of 100 activities
April - There have been some changes in math programs. We started with MAthworks for primary and Interactions for the junior level.
Anne/K/FL - We did moving by choice and believe it or not that ran very smoothly, but we had a lot of stations.
Valerie S. - Sandy...did that take care of kids in the same family in different grade levels?
April - Sarah, we had second sheets for the early birds.
Valerie S. - LuAnne...I like the 100th day idea!!!
LuAnne J - I agree Sarah, that's why I like the idea of stations, and just let them wonder from station to station with teachers at each to help out
Tony B/CA - OK, well, first, the stations rotated with your basic sound device. I think we used cow bells, but you can improvise. Plus, we published a schedule before the event, so parents and activity station leaders kept the ball rolling on-task. That was one of the activity leader's primary responsibilities - move the groups through ;)
Val/1/WI - Sandy, I love the idea of using "100" type of ideas
Anne/K/FL - We are going to do one grade level per night for next school year.
mathteach - any middle school ideas yet
Sandy/K/Mo - yes it worked great but we had a hard time getting some of the dad's to quit doing the puzzles :-)
KJ/IL - Does anyone out there use Everyday Mathematics (University of Chicago)???
Anne/K/FL - Family Math Night could work for middle school too.
SarahW/2/TX - I was so busy at my station (4 color map problem) that I looked up and our time was over!! Wow
Val/1/WI - My son's school uses Everyday Math, KJ
LuAnne J - Val, I missed the 100th idea, please repeat
Anne/K/FL - What would you like to know about Family Math night?
KJ/IL - Any opinions on it, Val??
mathteach - yeah, i know Anne...where i student taught there was a science why cant' there be a math night
Joni - Anne,What kinds of activites do you do?
SarahW/2/TX - April-- an extension activity would work well
Valerie S. - LuAnne...I think it was Sandy said they had theirs around the 100th day of school and used '100's' activities!
Anne/K/FL - How did you have parents and children sign in?
Tony B/CA - As for examples, I personally led a geometry exploration activity with marshmellows (small) and toothpicks. Family teams had a contest to build the tallest structure. I began the activity by demonstrating a few "structural tips" and foundation concepts, then let them go at it for 15 minutes. The winners got tickets for popcorn and cokes. "Losers" got tickets for popcorn, so everyone wins, really.
Val/1/WI - Difficult for parents to help with homework but it really teaches problem solving skills
Sandy/K/Mo - The Family Math book goes up to middle school with ideas I think
Joni - Tony, love the marshmallow structure idea!
Anne/K/FL - We took activities from Family Math and Thinking Questions from Creative Publications.
LuAnne J - I like that idea too Val, when will the 100th day be though?
KJ/IL - Val, I've heard that...are you talking about the homelinks? What do you think would help?
Valerie S. - Looks like right around Feb 3rd LuAnne.
KJ/IL - Tony, neat idea!
Anne/K/FL - We also sent home a packet with all the activities that were there.
SarahW/2/TX - We have our families sign in with a graph (estimate how many candies in a jar) well that is the "fun" sign in. Folks like our music teacher spent her time helping sign families in as they came through the door.
MEL - Thanks, Tony, How long did the entire evening's activities last
Tony B/CA - Here's a good tip. We posted these giant heart-shaped posters behind each activity, then provided smaller blank hearts for parents and kids to fill out as an assessment after the activity. You know, what they liked about the event, kudos... Then, they taped their comments to the big heart. The room was quite a sight at the close of the night ;)
Sandy/K/Mo - LuAnne it is different for each school but usually around the end of Jan. depending on snow days
LuAnne J - Give some examples of 100 activities!
April - We found it very important to focus on probelm-solving skills. Parents are more comfortable with familar concepts and need to understand the importance of problem-solving.
Anne/K/FL - We did a lot of hands on and manipulatives that were grade appropriate.
Joni - I like how you sent a packet home. =)
Sandy/K/Mo - had several 100 piece puzzles, family at each one, timer set at 10 min. 100 marshmallows, sugar cubes and toothpicks had to build things
Val/1/WI - KJ, The homelinks are ok because they have lots of directions, it's the workbook pages that come home half finished that are hard to figure out
Joni - Yes, Anne, I think it's good for parents to see what we do with the manipulatives at school and how we use them for meaningful math activities! Some of my parents just think of them as toys.
Anne/K/FL - We asked the parents to sign in tell theri occupation and how they used math in their daily lives and then we made a bulletin board with the infor. Everyone loved the idea and their were some very creative responses.
Tony B/CA - We planned the evening from 6 - 7:30 pm - with ample time to open and close the event (pumping the parents and kids up for being there). It'd be great to get a sponsor, like Subway Sandwiches or a Pizza place, they'd probably love to spread some food around (as well as their company name)
Valerie S. - Love it Sandy! Thanks!
Sandy/K/Mo - had a penny how many turned up heads flipping 100 times
KJ/IL - Val, oh...the workbooks
Tony B/CA - Right on, April, I totally agree. Problem-solving is a great family cooperative focus.
Anne/K/FL - We should do a mailring with Family Math Night ideas.
Val/1/WI - KJ, do you teach with Everyday Math? Are you happy with it?
LuAnne J - That sounds great Anne, a mailring would be great
Sandy/K/Mo - Good Idea Anne..
KJ/IL - Val, This will be my first year we'll see.. I did my student teaching with it, and liked it..but that wasn't enough time to figure it out completely
Joni - Anne, I would love a mailring with family math ideas. Great idea huh guys?!?
Tony B/CA - Anne, you are on to something there, of course ;) Drop me an email reminder, and I'll set it up next week...
Anne/K/FL - We did facts in your pocket and that went over very big.
Valerie S. - So after the sign in, did you do a general presentation before "setting them free?"
Sandy/K/Mo - we just started out with Kdg. and first grade because our principal wanted to see how it would go
KJ/IL - Sounds like some great ideas in here...see everyone later
Mel - Anne, explain facts in your pocket please
Joni - How do you get parents ENGAGED? I have some that just stand there and really look uncomfortable at any open house, conference, anything school related?!?
April - Valerie, we did at our school. This was presented by our math consultant.
Mel - Me too Joni,
Anne/K/FL - As the students and parents entered we had Venn Diagrams that was very visual and something to reflect upon.
Valerie S. - if we don't have a math consultant, LuAnne and I do it!?
Sandy/K/Mo - We told the kids at school to make sure their parents did things and it wasn't really a problem :-)
Anne/K/FL - Most parents were having fun, but you'll always have a few that won't.
LuAnne J - Yea, that's how it works at our school, we become the math consultants!
Joni - Also, are we talking about having several different stations here? Who explains these? Or are they things the students are already used to doing in the classroom?
Sandy/K/Mo - Valerie yes I think it is easier for just 2 to do
April - Joni, Mel, we started with tangrams with worksheet. The parents and students had to alternate in cooperatively solving the task. We didn't have a wall flower in the place.
Joni - cool, april!
Val/1/WI - We train the students on how to get parents involved. The students become tour guides.
Anne/K/FL - Joni, the stations were manned by volunteers and instructions were posted at the station.
Sandy/K/Mo - LuAnne, Valerie for the first time 100th day has a lot of activities that lends itself well AND it is in the middle of winter when they want to get out :-)
April - Joni, we had different stations with a teacher volunteer at each station. The volunteer explained and the students usually delighted in instructing the parents as well.
Valerie S. - Hey LuAnne...did it take 100 straws to make that big geo thing?
Joni - Thanks, Anne! Anybody do any activities with money at the family math night? ( as you can see I have a lot of questions!!=))
Anne/K/FL - Sandy, I like how you told the children prior I think that also helps to set the stage.
Tony B/CA - We did, Valerie S. The principal gave a welcome, and the coordinator of the event laid out the game plan. Then at the end, we pulled everyone back together, and had families share out some of their impressions of the Family Math Night for about 15 minutes or so. It has always been wonderful...!
Valerie S. - Sandy...I agree! We did Family Science in March for the same reason!
LuAnne J - I am not sure, VAl
Valerie S. - Thanks Tony...don't think we can count on the principal though!
Joni - So, tony, this was schoolwide? I'm afraid it will be me and my grade level this year. It should still work out though, right?
Tony B/CA - Utilize upper grade students as hosts. Maybe a local high school would like the project for a particular course experience.... They could be trained to run these events at other schools as well...
Sandy/K/Mo - we sent home notes explaining the night and asking them to tell us if they were coming. Them we told the kids that some of these things their parents might not know how to do SO they would have to teach them
Anne/K/FL - Sandy, we had our Family Math near the 100th day of school and I displayed my 100 e-mails.
LuAnne J - Even if it doesn't take 100 straws we can make it work!
Valerie S. - Yes, Tony! We used upper grade helpers at Family Science!
Sandy/K/Mo - The kids made sure their parents did it all :-)
Tony B/CA - OK, Valerie, vice-principal? Lead Math Teacher? Event Coordinator? Student body President? someone...
Tony B/CA - cool, Sandy.
Valerie S. - will be me or LuAnne!!!
Sandy/K/Mo - That's neat I had almost 100 postcards
LuAnne J - Tony.... that someone will be Val and me
Joni - I think it's good to do it during 100th day for the reasons mentioned and for the fact that it gets parents involved in the 100th day celebration as well.
Anne/K/FL - The high school kids hosted our Family Night and they were great our coordinator met with them several times and they received volunteer hours and pizza that night .
Tony B/CA - not the parents doing it all part, but the notes home...
April - Sandy, we also sent home a newsletter with similar motivation. The students seemed to look forward to this sharing time in the primary and junior levels. There was not the same interest on the part of the students for the intermediate level and we had to consider a day time sessions for this level.
judy/wv - Hi I just got here. How many stations do you all usually have? How do you get everyone to go to each station and not just in one area? Also, are all the stations on the same level of instruction??????
Tony B/CA - Right on, Val and LuAnne - we're here for ya ;) It has been me before too, so I empathize.
Anne/K/FL - Notes, flyers, posters, newsletters are all helpful to bring your attendance up.
LuAnne J - Val, I really like the 100th day, think about some activities when you get a chance and we will put our ideas together!
Joni - Do you have the family math night on the actual 100th day? or just that week sometime?
Sandy/K/Mo - The local Coke Dist. gave us soda for the night and we of course had goop :-)
Valerie S. - Yeah LuAnne...My mind is on overload but I'm thinking we need to have this together before Christmas to ask for donations and stuff!
Tony B/CA - Gold, Anne, gold.
Sandy/K/Mo - we tried for the actual night but snow had a different idea :-)
Valerie S. - Did everyone bring 100 things to mix for the goop Sandy?
LuAnne J - That sounds good Val, and you know how hectic it gets around Christmas, so I am going to think about it before school starts!
Sandy/K/Mo - yes each child brought something
Joni - LuAnne, you sound like me, my mind's always racing in the summer!
Anne/K/FL - We planned one each month starting in December.
judy/wv - Anne , do your stations range in ability levels????
LuAnne J - Tony.... VAl and I do all the work and the principal gets all the credit!
Joni - How are facts in your pocket done at family math night, Anne?
Anne/K/FL - We made the stations for K and 1 but next year we are only doing one grade level at a time.
Tony B/CA - Wow, Anne, you were able to get one per month! We tried for one per semester - I respect the effort and planning that must have gone into that...
Sandy/K/Mo - :-) LuAnne I think that happens alot but the parents know ...
judy/wv - Thanks Anne, Has anyone tried having stations set up for all grade levels???
MEL - Anne, do you think it is feasible to do K&1 together, 2&3 and 4& 5?
LuAnne J - We are only doing one this year!
Anne/K/FL - Joni, we had a gong and everytime the gong was hit you turned to a friend and asked what their fact was.
Valerie S. - We are going to be lucky to do 1 period!!! We will have to do it twice though to split up the numbers.
LuAnne J - I would like to try that Judy, one night/all grade levels
Sandy/K/Mo - Anne that's a lot of work.. did you have a good turn out at all of them?
LuAnne J - Val, we did one night for Family Science
Anne/K/FL - Mel, yes I do think that's feasible > We have to do one grade level at a time because we had too many people attending.
Valerie S. - Yes, LuAnne and Judy...I'd like to split up last we did for Family Science but different nights!
sarahw/2/tx - judy--we did all grade levels last yeara. Since the teachers all picked something appropriate for their own grade levels , folks found the "right" challenges
Tony B/CA - LuAnne, what else is new? But think of whose credit you really are talking about. The kids aren't fooled, and they know who makes learning fun for them. And parents are bright observers, involvement is the true sign of where the credit is due.
Sandy/K/Mo - Judy we had a math trail for all levels and did it during the day
Joni - I like the gong idea. i have some chimes we use for transition times --i'll try those.
judy/wv - LuAnne, do you have any ideas on how to get all the grade levels in 1 night?
judy/wv - Sarah, did kids only visit their own grade level or all??
Anne/K/FL - Sandy, we had a fantastic turn out that's why we are changing and only doing one grade level at a time.
Joni - Sandy, a math trail??
sue - how do you figure out exactly how many activities you need for a family math night?
MEL - Anne, to have such a problem!!! Of course I'm just speculating from the attendance at other things other than eating events
Valerie S. - Judy...when we did family Science we had over 400 people (over 100 families) I would like to do last names A-M one night and N-Z another.
LuAnne J - We did it for Family Science, we have some people in the gathering room and some in the cafeteria, we had them split by last names
sarahw/2/tx - judy--they could go to any, often they went and watch an older sibling or mom try something. It worked well!
MEL - Anybody, did you do this in a large room like a gym or cafeteria or in the grade level rooms???
Tony B/CA - We mixed it up. We had Kinders and first, then a 2/3 night, then a 4/5 night... And we did vary the difficulty levels to an extent
judy/wv - I am guessing that we would have app. 150ish people show up total.
Anne/K/FL - Sue, that's a good question you have to use your estimating skils and spatial format, and work on a plan that seems feasible.
LuAnne J - A-M and N-Z, like Val said!
Sandy/K/Mo - There were math problems of different difficulty and the kids were split up in teams, one from kdg. or first with some middle kids and older
MEL - Judy, would that be 150 for the entire school?
judy/wv - Thanks, sara and val. Did you all just ring a bell and change every 15 minutes or something??
LuAnne J - Val, you really want to do two nights?????
Anne/K/FL - Mel, we did this in our cafeteria.
judy/wv - Yes, Mel
Valerie S. - How did you assign the families to teams Sandy?
Tony B/CA - Mel, yeah, we did the event in our auditorium. Served food outside in the lunch courtyard. Also, had the event at SDSU two times - great to partner with a local University, double whammy benefits ;)
sue - I want to doit this yr but have noidea howmanyor what grade level will sow up. Wouldit be best to limit it to Pk,K and 1?
Valerie S. - Yeah LuAnne...same stuff but two nights!
Tony B/CA - ...not every time, just like one SDSU visit each year...
Anne/K/FL - Sue, send home a survey and see what information comes back.
MEL - What did the SDSU people do? We have a great relationship with Tx AA&M
Sandy/K/Mo - we did this during the day with kids only and teachers were at the stations
sue - anybody, what resources did you use for your actvities-- Family math book??
Tony B/CA - tough on the eyes there, sue. Sure, limiting the range is a good idea if you have to go it alone. I recommend a site committee representing each grade level, and planning the entire process together.
sue - anne, won't work inmy area, parents neve send anythng back and a large percentage are non-readers
judy/wv - Anyone else taking notes? Will this be archived?
LuAnne J - Family Math book and any great ideas from fellow teachers
judy/wv - Yes, please I really need good resources.
Anne/K/FL - Sue, Family Math and Thinking Questions from Creative Publications
Tony B/CA - sure will, judy. We archive all live events.
sarahw/2/tx - sue--our first attempts were for a grade level or two at a time.
Joni - so basically you can use any activity you would use as a math center in the classroom, am i right about this?
LuAnne J - Where are they archived?
Sandy/K/Mo - We did it during the day so there weren't any parents.. teachers manned the stations
Tony B/CA - We found Marilyn Burns math activities for grades 2/3 to be extremely well-liked.
Anne/K/FL - Joni, be careful to choose activities that you can present to a large group.
Tony B/CA - Also, good ideas in Math By All Means (book)
sue - thanks sara, I think it would work with Pk and K. All my parents from last year would show up.
sarahw/2/tx - joni--problem solving activities work well, esp if you use manipulatives that they would likely have at home
LuAnne J - Those are great math activities Tony!
Kim/KS/8th - Does anyone teach upper grades? We are planning on doing this with 7th and 8th graders.
Valerie S. - LuAnne...You'll get all kinds from AIMS next month :(
Joni - So, Anne, do you present all activites first? Or are you saying this because of materials? (Sorry I'm so confused!)
sue - tony-- who is the publisher?
sarahw/2/tx - Sue--that would be good--will your grade level teachers help you?
LuAnne J - That is Science though Val, not Math!
Tony B/CA - LuAnne, archives are linked off of the meetings page - also, look up in the left uppeer corner of your browseer window. See the link under Teachers.Net in green called "archive" - you can click that to get to a listing of archived meetings also.
Anne/K/FL - ZJoni, I'm saying this because of materials and parts that may be needed.
Valerie S. - LuAnne...Math and Science! Activities that Integrate Math and Science!!!
Tony B/CA - AIMS is great too. Thematic activities can illustrate math concepts well. For example, AIM
LuAnne J - Thanks Tony
sue - Only 3 will help, think it would work. Thereare 120 kids in the grade level and I could get the parent advsior,too.
Joni - Thanks for clarifying, Anne! About how many stations would be set up? Did i miss this answer?
Tony B/CA - ties Integrating Math and Science) has Skittles Math - teaches grouping strategies well, and is quite fun. Others are equally well-suited to Family Math
Anne/K/FL - Joni, that depends on how many you are expecting to attend.
Tony B/CA - whoah, what happened there, Tony?
MEL - Sarah, have you done one of these nights? Did you do TAAS activities?
Joni - AIMS activities would be great=)
sarahw/2/tx - Sue--with that many kids (will they all show up??) You will likely need more help. Any favors you can cash in?? some parent volunteers or teachers from other grade levels? Don't mean to be negative at all!
Joni - Okay, Anne, say we're doing this with three first grade classrooms...
LuAnne J - Val, M&M Math ideas, using 100 m&m's in each bag/ probability, how many of each color, then you could go to percent for the older kids
sue - for those of you who have done this, how many months/ hrs prep time did it take?
Valerie S. - You got it LuAnne!
Sylvia/CA - So... to summarize... the Family Math book, Marilyn Burns' books and AIMS activities would be good resources, right? Any others?
Valerie S. - Sylvia...Math Their Way, Chicago Math...
sue - where can I get an aims book?
sarahw/2/tx - HI Joyce!! Sue I am embarrassed to tell you how quickly we have thrown together a couple of these, but the best ones tak a month-6 weeks planning
Tony B/CA - Hmmm... I could post a list later, after gi
Anne/K/FL - If there were 75 children and 1 parent per child that would be a max of 150 I would probably figure on 120. How much time would you allot? If 2 hours I would run 8 centers.
Sylvia/CA - Chicago Math? That's a new one for me... tell me more, Val....
Valerie S. - Sue...there are activities on-line...I'll try to get a link...
LuAnne J - How long did it take us Val for Family Science?
MEL - Did anyone use computer programs in Math with their Family Math nights?
sue - I can do tht sarah, i want to do it for October, You could do a lot with the colored corn, pumpkin sizing etc.
Joni - Thanks, Anne... and then all the children would rotate to each of these centers?
Valerie S. - At least a few months LuAnne...We started about October and got hot and heavy after Christmas. Night was in early March.
sue - did anyone answer how many centers are needed
sarahw/2/tx - We usually run 1 hr for activities and then about 30 min more for door prizes, filling out evaluations (though I like Tony's on the spot eval!)
Sylvia/CA - Anne, so you run timed activities? What about those parents/families that come in late or need to leave early?
Anne/K/FL - JOni, yes they would rotate some would go through quickly others would stay it seems to move along fine.
LuAnne J - It depends on how many people Sue
Joni - Sue, anne said it depends on how many children you plan to have attend.
Anne/K/FL - Sue, that depends on attendance, space, and time.
Valerie S. - Don't know too much Sylvia! Someone here uses it!
LuAnne J - Maybe our new 7th grade Math teacher can be our Math consultant, VAl!
Valerie S. -'s the AIMS site...
Valerie S. - I'm not holding my breath LuAnne!
Kim/KS/8th - Do you have the parents participate in the activities, or just watch?
Tony B/CA - Let them, Sylvia. I am happy to see them show up to school at all, truthfully.
sue - anne, my area is difficult there is no way to predict how many will come or if they will come at all at night. Just need a rough idea
Anne/K/FL - I think we could come up with many activities to choose from and Tony said he would start a mailring for Family Math Night! What do you all think?
sue - thanks valerie!
sarahw/2/tx - We have differ in the length of planning and number of stations--We generally have less than 100 folks total--sometimes much less--last year's 60 families was a record. We had at least 10 stations and then several estimation/ graphing activities.
Joni - I'd love a mailring for family math night, Tony! Here, Here!!
Anne/K/FL - Kim, the parents do the activities with the children they go as a team to the centers.
sue - I love the idea anne, put me on the mailring tony!
Tony B/CA - Thanks for the AIMS site, Valerie
Sylvia/CA - Tony, of course I'd let them... just trying to figure out logistics... I think I'd prefer to have open ended activities...Fortunately, at my school, we get a very good response from parents as long as events are after 6pm.
Kim/KS/8th - Anne, do you have any experience with Family Literacy nights? We are wanting to alternate between math, writing, and reading--all for 7th and 8th graders and their parents.
LuAnne J - I will be looking for the mailring Tony, Thanks!
Gumbo/K/La - Like the idea of the mail ring....
sue - who was it that said they did it during the day?
Joni - of course another mailring may make my computer explode!=)
sue - where will info about the mailring be posted?
Valerie S. - Me too Joni but I love all these ideas!
sarahw/2/tx - joni--LOL! I know, my family thinks I am really popular 'cuz I always have mail
Sylvia/CA - Kim! I like that idea! Sounds like a good idea for a future chat session... I will have grades 4/5/6..
sue - kim, I want to have a family read in if i can get it approved with my principal. It's much safer in our area if we're locked in
Anne/K/Fl - We have done Literacy Informative nights, but not in a fun hands on way like Math.
LuAnne J - Where will the mailring be to get signed on Tony?
Kim/KS/8th - Our school is doing this to help raise parent involvement and student achievement.
Anne/K/Fl - Sue, I love that idea.
MEL - Sue, I wanted to do family reading too. Tony, could we perhaps have a similar discussion about that some time?
Joyce/TX/2nd - We had a combined Family math and literacy night.
Tony B/CA - OK, tell you what, if you want to be subscribed to the list at its' inception, just jot me an email to with a short note to add you to the Family Math mailring. I'll get it going soon, and list the ring on the main Mailrings page too...
Joni - How'd that work Joyce?
Kim/KS/8th - I am one of the people in charge of the reading and writing family nights, and I have no idea what to do!
MEL - Joyce, did you do stations like we have discussed with literature at some and math at others?
Anne/K/Fl - Joyce, how did you combine the two?
sue - tell us how you worked it out joyce
Sylvia/CA - Kim, if you lead any chat sessions on literacy family nights, I'd love to attend!!
Joyce/TX/2nd - Each grade level was responsible for 2 activities to tie into a specific book. We did Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
sue - joyce, what kidsof activities?
Joni - Joyce, tell us more...
Joyce/TX/2nd - The parents and kiddos went around the cafeteria from one center area to another.
Gumbo/K/La - Our grade group did a make and take the district had for parents--schools sent teams to demonstrte and help parents make learning games.....I enjoyed it....
Valerie S. - Well, Anne and Tony...thank you so much and thanks to others for their ideas! I'm motivated and excited about doing this this year! Right now I'm off to clean up and get in bed. Good night!
Anne/K/Fl - Did you give handouts as children and parents left? Did you do an evaluation of Family Math Night?
Kim/KS/8th - Uh, oh. Little one woke up crying. Better fo chekc on him. BRB. Sylvia, I don't have the foggiest idea about literacy nights! That's why I am here. Why don't you lead the chat discussion? I could be the blind leading the blind! BRB! He's still crying.
Joyce/TX/2nd - The principal opened the evening by reading to the whole group.
Tony B/CA - Sure Mel, we'll plan the event. If you would, send your suggestion to our Events Coordinator, Kathleen Carpenter, at - thanks for the suggestion!
Sylvia/CA - Hah!! ME?? lead a discussion?? I'm even NEWER to the idea than YOU are! I JUST heard of it from YOU, Kim!!!
Joyce/TX/2nd - Off the top of my head there was a listening center
Joni - Joyce, were some of the teachers responsible for 2 lit activities and some responsible for two math activites? Or did your book that
sue - anne, i have to do evals on all parents activitiees for my grant. I have a very easy one that requires little or no reading and writing
MEL - I will be glad to do that Tony
Joyce/TX/2nd - letter stamps, play dough and letter cookie cutters
LuAnne J - Have to go too! Thanks, got some great ideas, and modivation, Tony.... I already emailed you about the mailring, Thanks!
Anne/K/Fl - Thank you for all attending!
Grace/IL - Thanks, Anne, for leading this discusion. I'll e-mail you
Tony B/CA - G'nite LuAnne. Nice chatting with you...
tonia - I would like to ask all of you a question? are you all afraid of me? let me know if i intimidate you all
sarahw/2/tx - Been a great discussion! Must be off! Catch ya on the mailring!!
Gumbo/K/La - thanks, anne and all...sorry I had to be late---will catch up in the archives.......
Kim/KS/8th - I missed so much, I will be waiting for the archive!
Anne/K/Fl - Tony, thanks for all your help!
sue - thanks anne :)
MEL - Joyce, does your school do Accerated Reader? There are reading nite activities that can be put in with that.
Kim/KS/8th - Mel, we do AR. Do you have some ideas to share?
Kim/KS/8th - Sylvia, I would like to get some ideas about a literacy night.
Tony B/CA - Thank you, Mrs. Alphabet (Anne) for leading this discussion tonight. The archives will prove most helpful to teachers setting up Family Math nights at their schools.

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