#1. “I was able to take home lots of ideas that will help me when I work with my son on math concepts.” ~Parent
Not only do we want Nifty Numbers and Math Medley participants to find the activities fun and stimulating during the event, but one of our goals is that parents walk away with ideas and strategies that they can use with their children once everything is packed up and put away. And that’s easy to do because all of the activities are based on good instructional practices making Nifty Numbers and Math Medley simply extensions of what goes on in the classroom.
#2. “Nifty Numbers was the first function I have ever organized and I am grateful for how simple it was to orchestrate from beginning to end.” ~Parent
We love to hear that your event was a success and everything ran smoothly! We know how busy you are so we took great care to put together Coordinator, Communications, and Station Facilitator Packets filled with step-by-step guides to planning, organizing, and running your event. We even included video clips that walk you through opening your kit to opening the doors on event day. But that’s not all. To help you recruit your volunteers, we partnered with VolunteerSpot.com, a premier site in volunteer management. Your success is very important to us!
#3. “When can we do another family math night?” ~Kids…lots of them.
Okay, this is our favorite quote. And lucky for us, it happens to be the most popular quote from kids. There is no better testimonial than for kids to have so much fun at Nifty Numbers and Math Medley that they want to do more math. As parents and teachers, we know that when kids are excited about what they’re doing, they develop confidence and learning increases.
And the good news is, Nifty Numbers and Math Medley are just the first two of many themed Family Math Night kits we have planned. So stay tuned, there’s lots more to come.
#4. “I’m math phobic but I really don’t want my daughter to grow up that way. She’s really enjoying herself tonight and I’m actually feeling okay about all the math.”
It’s unfortunate that there are so many math phobic adults in our country. And it really doesn’t need to be that way. A lot of it stems from how they were taught math growing up. So one of our goals is to help people overcome the feelings they get when the word ‘math’ comes up. We know that putting people in a relaxed, go-at-your-own-pace environment with leveled activities that make math accessible, removes a lot of the pressure. Throw in the fun that they have with their kids, and it’s hard not to walk away with a different perspective on math.
#5. “I just watched the video clip of my station’s activities and know exactly what to do. What a brilliant idea!” ~Parent serving as station facilitator
We know that asking parents to run a station filled with math activities can be intimidating for some. To alleviate this, we put together a series of short video clips that walks the facilitators step-by-step through each of their station’s activities. We offer tips on how to set up the station and share scenarios they may encounter such as kids (and parents!) wanting to get creative with the pattern blocks. We also make the math content easily accessible to just about everyone. In fact, the quote above came from a parent who was nervous about running her station. We believe we nailed it with the clips.
#6. “The parents learned firsthand more about current math curriculum.” ~Principal
All of our Nifty Numbers and Math Medley activities are based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Common Core State Mathematics Standards. Since most states have adopted these standards, parents get to experience exactly what their children need to learn to become proficient in math.
#7. “This is a great activity! I can’t wait to use it in my classroom on Monday.” ~ Teacher
Teachers don’t usually get super excited about activities unless they see value. So hearing teachers rave about our Nifty Numbers and Math Medley activities is validation that we got it right, both on an academic level and a fun level. We’re thrilled to know that teachers will be sneaking into the kit later and borrowing a lesson or two…or three…
#8. “It was such a joy to see developmentally appropriate, stimulating math activities that involved everyone. From 3 years to adult, we had fun and were challenged!” ~Parent and former teacher
One of our goals was to design the station activities around a common idea or concept in math. One of the main reasons was to be able to have parents work with all of their kids at the same station. But it also allowed parents to see how a concept builds over time.
In order to do this, we came up with three activity levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. This helps to ensure that kids work on activities that are developmentally appropriate to them and yet allows for that extra nudge of challenge should they choose it.
#9. “Nifty Numbers was fabulous! I didn’t have to think about activities to plan or gather materials which freed me up to focus on other things.” ~Principal
One of the main reasons schools do not take on the challenge of putting together a family math night event is the time, effort, and energy required to organize one from scratch. It’s not that parents and teachers don’t want to host an event. It’s just that they already have so much on their plates.
Enter Nifty Numbers and Math Medley. Everything is already planned and organized into stations. Simply add the station facilitators and, voila, instant Family Math Night event. This principal recognized the value in purchasing a ready-to-go kit so that her time and her teacher’s time could be focused on other things. That makes us feel good because one of our goals is to make life a little easier for people.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, here’s a letter we received after one school’s event:
I am absolutely delighted with the outcome last night. You cannot believe the amount of positive feedback that has been coming my way. Each and every family left here last night with a huge smile on their face. To quote, “That was awesome Mom”. One teacher said and I am not kidding here – Dad’s were over the top happy with the event they were giving her high fives. Another teacher had a conference this morning and the parent could not stop raving about Family Math Night. You were right the Student Council were shining stars. They were incredible! The compliments about them were just flowing!
The Superintendent was here working along side families. He stopped in my office this morning with a big smile on his face talking about the best Family Math Night he has ever seen. The Director of Curriculum was here and participated as well. She sent me the most awesome email. The Director of Special Education was here and she is in pictures working along side children. The Principals of both schools and all the staff the came to support the event have blogged, face booked and sent emails.
Most importantly are the students who attended. The staff told me from all grade levels Family Math Night is the buzz. Kids are already talking about next year. And I mean grade 6 students too. Oh yes parent and children alike told me last night and their teachers today, that they want to be on Student Council so they can do Family Math Night when they get to sixth grade.
I just got an email from the PreK teachers and they are getting positive feedback as well. Who knew?
A great big gigantic THANK YOU goes from me to you!!!! I have not stopped smiling myself.
~Mary, Math/Science Curriculum Specialist