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Puzzles + Riddles + Math = Fun

Puzzles + Riddles + Math = Fun
Puzzles + Riddles + Math = Fun

Students from Kindergarten through fifth grade used a variety of mathematical manipulatives to test their knowledge of observation, deduction and computation at the Lower School Math Night on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

From one corner of a room, a mix of Lower School students sort out the seven pieces of the ancient Chinese Tangram puzzle, studying the shapes and thinking about their attributes. In another room, students play games of multiplication, using tokens to mark their success down the gameboard. Welcome to Friends Academy's first Lower School Math Night.

Held Wednesday, Dec. 7, the evening event was geared to students in Kindergarten through grade 5

and their families. "The primary goal of our first LS Math Night was to have families come together and have fun doing mathematics," shared Lower School Math Learning Specialist Brie Kraska. "We also wanted to provide parents with a glimpse into their children's learning at school. Teaching with objects, or hands-on learning in mathematics is best practice," she added.

The evening's activities were geared to divisions of K-2 and Grades 3-5 students. In each grouping, the games touched on various strands covered in the curriculum, such as shapes and attributes, time and measurement, graphing, place money, money, fluency with computation (+, -, x, /) and more. Many of the games included beginner, intermediate and more challenging components that met the students' needs along a spectrum of learning.

All of the activities were highly interactive and hands-on. In "Equation Concentration" players were asked to match equivalent sums and differences as they turned over cards (4+3 = 5+2). Other card games challenged students and their parents to practice place value, addition and multiplication. And a scavenger hunt asked students to find objects based on various requirements, such as "Find something arranged in an array."

In another center, the "Fraction Quilt" integrated the disciplines of math and art. "Students created sections that were put together to create a beautiful 'quilt'," explained Kraska. "At the beginning level, the goal was to have younger students understand the concept of halves and then move to the intermediate and advanced stages where students worked to understand the relationship between the unit fraction and the whole," added Kraska. In order to create the designs of the quilt blocks, students mastered knowledge of symmetry.

For Kraska, the entire evening was about having fun with mathematics and she is already planning the next Math Night. "Parents were able to sit side by side with their children in a non-stressful environment to learn and practice math. Hopefully, they came away with an understanding of the important and crucial role they play in their children's education," finished Kraska.