What you didn't know is that, through all the work I've done, I had never hosted a parent workshop in my own district... until now. When my district's director of community relations, who is already someone who's been in my corner for quite some time, saw that I was doing things outside of my district, she jumped on the opportunity to have me come in and help.
We settled on a couple dates to host two parent math nights. Oh wait. Parent math nights. You've done those. They're common... right?
Yes, parent math night, but unlike the ones we typically do. My main beef with the standard math nights is that they are filled with games, manipulatives, and prompts that cost money, take time to set up, and are not readily available to our parent community that struggles with math themselves.
Enter: The #MTBoS and Table Talk Math
Scattered throughout the room were a variety of prompts from Estimation 180, Visual Patterns, Which One Doesn't Belong, Fraction Talks, Would You Rather, SolveMe Mobiles, and Open Middle. The biggest help of the whole evening was that I had a student representative at each station who could help the parents and their children understand the question. It was incredible to see how quickly the students took on the role of teacher and embraced it! Thanks to Matt Vaudrey for pointing out a tweet from Jeremiah Reusch on the idea.
"I was worried about coming because I've been before and felt like an idiot when I left. Thank you for making me feel like I don't suck at math and giving me things I can try with my son. He struggles and I see that I can do things to help. Thank you."
Recently, I had a moment where I really doubted the work that I'm doing. Am I effective? Is any of this benefitting anyone? After thinking about the math nights, I have to believe the answer to these is a firm yes, even if I'm not seeing the benefits in person.
Resources for Math Night:
Visual Pattern 1
Visual Pattern 2
Visual Pattern 3
Visual Pattern 4
Visual Pattern 5
Fraction Talk 1
Fraction Talk 2
Fraction Talk 3
Fraction Talk 4
Open Middle 1
Open Middle 2
Open Middle 3
Open Middle 4
Would You Rather 1
Would You Rather 2
Would You Rather 3
Would You Rather 4
Estimation 180 (a variety of prompts, chosen by student helpers)
SolveMe Mobiles (starting at #3, then letting them explore and challenge)
The next time you run a math night, I would love to help, wehether it's a giveaway for Table Talk Math books, a few ideas to bounce around, or just to hear what you have in mind. Thank you for bringing math to the table!
Happy "Parents Can Enjoy Math, Too" Fishing