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Math Night aimed at increasing community involvement

November 05, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Mike Hiatt dumped 10 small, colorful bear toys on the carpet and covered seven of them from view.

His son, Kelly, reached out and quickly counted the three remaining bears. The 6-year-old ignored the number grid that a teacher said could be used for help with subtraction.

Since three were on the floor, seven must be in the "cave," Kelly reported.

"No number grid for him," Mike Hiatt said with a smile.

"I know that one," Kelly said. "We learned it in class."

The first-grader and his father were among an estimated 250 people that participated in Fairview Elementary School's Math Night on Tuesday. Elementary schools across the Waynesboro Area School District held their own family events that night.

Fairview's Math Night replaced its annual science fair, which had dwindling attendance in recent years, Principal Dianne Eberhardt said.

She described Math Night's purpose as being threefold - to increase community involvement, to create awareness of the Everyday Math program and to encourage parents to spend quality time with their children.

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"It's good for the parents to see some of the simple things they can do at home," Assistant Principal Barb Martin said.

Instead of setting aside two weeks to teach a concept like addition, the Everyday Math program reiterates concepts daily throughout the school year, Eberhardt said.

"The Everyday Math program teaches them a multitude of ways to reach an answer," Eberhardt said. "It's more of a comprehensive approach."

The program was implemented in phases at Fairview, and today's high-schoolers were some of the first students to use it, she said.

On Math Night, Natalie Johnson played a multiplication factors game that she first learned in her fifth-grade class a month ago.

The 10-year-old studied a composite number, then determined what multiplied combinations of factors would yield that composite number. She didn't need to use a calculator, although one was made available to her.

"My favorite math game is 'Beat the Calculator.' Someone uses their brain to do (the problem), and one person has to use their calculator," Natalie said.

In third grade, Danielle Crawford and Preston Witte played "Less than You" with cards. Each child drew two cards, added up the numbers shown and determined who had a greater amount.

If the children hadn't been comfortable with addition, they could have counted the dots on the cards.

Preston, 8, said the game wasn't difficult, "'cause you have to add them up and if you get a zero, that's easy." He won despite 9-year-old Danielle having the early lead.

Connie Bishop showed parents of second-graders how to make an addition game at home, using a paper clip and pencil to form a spinner.

"The good thing about this game is that kids get experience using their head, number grid and calculator," the teacher said.

Kelsey Landaker, 7, kept score with her mother, Chrissy Voss.

"It was a fun game," Kelsey said.

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