We were very pleased with the turnout at our first ever Family Math Night at Alexander Muir held this past Thursday. Muir families had the opportunity to learn more about how math games and puzzles can support mathematical learning and build math concept knowledge and understanding. A variety of math game/puzzle centres were set up throughout the school gym/FDK classroom. Families signed in at the welcome station, got their math passport and then headed off to work through a series of math games, challenges and puzzles. One of our goals was to continue to build a growth mindset in our students and families when it comes to math learning. Another goal was to highlight the use of math games & puzzles in all three divisions (Primary, Junior & Intermediate) and provide examples and uses for all five strands of math (Number Sense & Numeration, Geometry & Spacial Sense, Patterning & Algebra, Measurement & Data Management).
It was great to see parents, guardians, students & teachers working to solve problems, estimate, reason, answer surveys and play! We hope that our evening helped to showcase that math can be fun, engaging and hands on.
Special thanks to the staff and student volunteers who planned, organized and led this wonderful math learning opportunity for our Muir community. Thanks also to the families that were able to attend! For those families that were not able to make it we have provided some of the information and links below so that you too can learn more about using math games and puzzles with your child/ren.
Below is more information about Math Games & Puzzles taken from the YRDSB Math site.
Math Games & Puzzles~ Why are they important? Math games and puzzles give students meaningful, enjoyable contexts for doing math. While playing, students deepen understandings, develop new strategies and increase computational fluency.
When choosing a math game, keep in mind the following considerations:
- What mathematical ideas or strategies is the game developing?
- Would the game be best played competitively or cooperatively?
- Does the game emphasize thinking rather than speed?
Math games and puzzles serve an important role within the comprehensive math program. Games and puzzles can be used to develop or construct understanding of certain concepts. To maximize the games as a medium for learning, they should support the emergence of new strategies and new insights. Additionally, they can help students to reinforce their understanding of concepts and skills and/or refine their proficiency with numbers. Games offer an opportunity for students to learn collaboratively as they can be played in pairs, or small groups. Students continue to engage in thinking and reasoning in an alternative structure. Depending on the type of game, it can also allow students an opportunity to build on communication skills. There are important considerations when looking at what games and/or puzzles would effectively meet the needs of the students. It is essential that the games or puzzles be connected to a concept or skill within the curriculum expectation and that it be engaging for students. When thinking about computer games, or apps, the thinking should be done by the player(s) and not by the computer. If there is a timer or race incorporated into the game, it is important to consider whether this would be suitable for where students are in their learning and how it will affect their conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. The game should also offer an opportunity for students to build confidence, self-efficacy and a positive disposition towards mathematics. A few words of caution…young children do not understand the role of chance in games and losing often leads to feelings of personal failure. Also, when competition is replaced with collaboration, the result is often an increase in conversation on the math involved. Adapted from: Fosnot, C. and Cameron, A. (2007) Games for Early Number Sense. Harcourt School Publishers: Orlando, Florida.
Starting in April we will highlight various math games, puzzles, activities, apps and websites in our CONNECTIONS newsletter. Please be sure to watch out our new Math Page in our April school newsletter.
In the meantime, why not start a family math games night at your home!
Mr. Erdmann & Mrs. Wand