Family Math Night

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At Riverview School in Reedley California, the first-ever Family Math Night drew many parents and their children. Activities included such games as “Shake the Beans,” “Addition War” and “Number Concept Bowling.”

Before the event, Principal John Ahlin said the night traditionally had been one that spotlighted reading as part of the nationwide “Read Across America” effort.

But, this year, the school wanted to change it up and focus on math. (Riverview still celebrated “Read Across America” on Feb. 28.)

The purpose of Math Night was to “make math exciting and fun” for the students and their parents, Ahlin said. The games that they learned on Math Night (which included a packet describing each game) also could be played at home.

Family Math Night

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Ahlin said they want students “to see that [math] is part of our daily lives, and it doesn’t have to be an obstacle.”

That morning, Abby DeLaVega said her daughter, Viviana, had twice reminded her not to forget about Math Night.

Abby said it was important to be involved in the school’s activities and to help Viviana “understand that math can be fun.”

And what did Viviana think about the evening? “I think it’s going to be a good time,” she said.

The games use everyday items that can be found in a home – such as a deck of cards, dice and uncooked lima beans – to go over addition, subtraction, multiplication and other math skills.

Take “Number Concept Bowling” It requires 10 recyclable containers (like one-liter plastic soda bottles) that are set up like bowling ball pins. Each bottle has a number on it (the number 0 to 9). A child rolls a small ball to knock over the bottles and then adds up the numbers on those pins for a grand total.

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Family Math Night

Click image to purchase book