The second Family Math Night at William B. Ward Elementary School brought out the school community in droves, with more than 400 participants eager to engage in a wide variety of activities designed to make math fun.
Many Ward teachers and support staff volunteered their time manning the stations. “This event was created to promote math and help students to explore games and integrate their families. It's important for students to see how math can be fun and valuable in their daily lives,” said Ana Wiesner, fifth grade CILA teacher and math lead teacher, who helped coordinate the event along with math coach Nicole Conlisk and PTA President Erica Vinelli.
Six stations for kindergarten through second grade were set up around the gymnasium, with challenges entitled "How to Make 10?", "Double, Double", "LeapFrog", and “Code a Dollar,” where students had to code robots to move to a specific dollar amount. In "Bubble Dice", students revealed a math problem by bursting a bubble and then had to solve it.
“The challenges varied in their degree of difficulty, but all were designed to show students that math can be fun,” said Ms. Conlisk.
Also in the gym was an ESL Resource Table, a table sponsored by Tutoring Solutions with promotional materials, and a "Future Willies" pre-k table for the siblings who are not yet attending Ward.
In the Multi-Purpose Room, grades 3-5 and their families participated in many stations including "Place Value War,” "The Game of 24,” "3-Act Tasks,” "Roll and Record Decimals A,” and "Mixed Number War.” In “Area and Perimeter Dominoes” students picked a domino that had an area or perimeter question. They needed to solve the question and then find the answer on another domino to match.
“In addition to the stations run by Ward teachers, we had amazing community outreach from the middle school and high school,” said Ms. Conlisk. Omer Uzun, who works in the high school’s science research program and some high school students, manned a table with various puzzles. Mr. Uzun serves on the Foundation for Science Research in New Rochelle, a 501c(c)(3) registered charity that funds STEM programs in the district. Another table led by high school physics teacher Zachariah Biondo and his students focused on robotics.
Students from Ursuline also volunteered to help out, assisting teachers and students. “We were grateful for their partnership and support,” said Ms. Conlisk.
Each room had six independent stations for families to sit and play with their children. STEM Building, Timber Tower (like Jenga), Multiplication Top-It, Qwirkle, and Spin & Cover proved endlessly popular.