Last week I had the opportunity to volunteer at a middle school for a family math night where students from schools in the district can come with their families and visit math stations where they can play games and learn more about math. The games are lead by mostly college students and a few staff members. I was able to work with two girls from one of my classes and it was a great experience.
The game we played was called "hit the target" and we gave the student(s) four cards to choose from and a "target" card. The idea of the game was to use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division of the four cards to get to the target card. In the future I would be interested in using this activity in my classroom. A student I specifically remember was in second grade she seemed to have trouble with subtraction. From my experience in other classrooms I would have thought that in second grade students should be past the point of struggling with subtraction. Another student that really interested me was an eighth grade student who was so interested in math. She came back to our table multiple times and was excited about doing math. Seeing that in a student is really inspiring because a lot of students lose interest in math as they get into the older grades. Keeping students interested in math will be something that I strive to do in the future. I think a lot of that interest comes from the interest that the teacher shows the students.
Last year I was a part of a family math night that was part of a class. It was at a different school district which gave me a whole different experience. At this night we did a game based on the book "how big is a foot". The students really seemed to like this activity. We traced the students feet and had them measure beds they made, like the one on the cover of the book. The students were able to pick from different measuring tools and it was really interesting to see what type of measurement tools the students picked. This observation and variety of measurement tools really helped me see the students understanding. Some of the students would measure the first foot then realize that they could multiply that measurement by the number of feet in the row. I think that I would defiantly use this activity in my future classroom, the students from family math night really seemed to enjoy it and that makes me confident that a group of my future students would also like it.
I hope to organize a family math night at a school I work at in the future, they don't already participate in one. Watching the way the students interact with their parents is very important because you don't see that in the classroom and during parent teacher conferences the students are not there to show their interaction. Observing how well or how much the students interact with their parents can give you a great understanding of why the student is performing the way that they are in your classroom.