The classroom was full of laughter as an activity started to help parents learn math with rap song and dance moves.
At first, the assignment seemed very easy. Count out loud by multiples of three. For adults, this should be easy.
But the activity was deceptively simple. Things got complicated, tangled after number 21. A teacher happily showed parents how the children were able to memorize the intervals with a rap and some dance moves.
The special evening program offered parents a chance to see howclasses at the school combine the arts with core subjects such as math.
“Multiples are a hard thing,” said Kristine Nelsen, a Sioux Falls parent. “It really helps.”
Nelsen, 46, has three children at Eugene Field A+ Elementary School. The school put parents in students’ shoes one evening, inviting them to sit in on three 25-minute lessons pulled right from the classroom.
Multiple Intelligence Parent Night also gave moms and dads an opportunity to learn about a key educational philosophy at the school — that every student is smart.
Students can be math smart, nature smart or people smart, and part of what Eugene Field teachers do is approach lessons with a consideration for each pupil’s individual strengths, principal Ann Marie Davis said.
“The kids would all tell you they’re all smart,” Davis said. “It’s just how they’re smart.”
Sara Jean Baptiste, 34, glued colorful pieces of tissue paper to a picture of a brain. Jean Baptiste had no idea what to expect, she said, though the Sioux Falls mother did admit to being a bit nervous about going to school.
“Now, I’m collaging,” Jean Baptiste said. “So that’s good.”
The session she picked, “MI Brains,” is based on a first-grade lesson and covers a core aspect of the school’s approach to learning — determining one’s own unique brand of smarts.