Principal John Fritzky and Kate Fritzky on Family Math Night. (Photo provided).
Family Math Night was run by the Byram Intermediate School three times this year. Getting parents “Back to School” to play games and do math problems while enjoying time with their children was the vision of this program. In cooperation with Byram’s math coach, the 5th and 6th grade teachers planned fun, engaging activities to promote math skills, logical reasoning, and teamwork. The first night in October began with an estimation jar and logic puzzle using toothpicks about a balloon ride. The crowd was divided into groups, and each group rotated through all the stations. The stations included a board game, telling math stories, 100 chart fun, and how close can you get game: each emphasizing specific math skills. Once each group rotated through all three stations, the evening was wrapped up with a culminating activity and prizes were awarded. The second Family Math Night was held in November. For this month’s estimation jar, participants had to estimate the number of marbles in the jar followed by an activity looking for patterns when dealing with multiples. Station activities stressed probability and the likeliness of an event occuring. Games included number lines, SKUNK, and racing to a meter using groups of ten. Fermi, Pico, Bagel was the culminating activity. The crowd guessed 3-digit numbers and used word clues to deductively reason the exact amount. The goal was to guess the mystery number in the fewest number of guesses. Logic and elimination skills were required. December was the third and final Family Math Night for this year. Opening activities again started with estimating the number of snowballs (cotton balls) in a jar, followed by students finding the sum of hidden numbers. Recognition of patterns was essential to solving the mystery. Using patterns, families were to guess the hidden amounts. Families rotated through four stations of games that included coordinate graphing, “I have, who has” fraction game, and equivalent fraction balloon sort. All three nights were very well attended. Many families even attended all three nights. Refreshments were provided at each math night, and prizes were awarded for estimation activities and contests that took place that evening. Each child who attended received a Rambuck to use in the end of school year raffle. Math brought families back to school to learn, smile, and laugh together.