North Platte students put on their thinking caps for fun math night

By Ralph Chapoco, North Platte Telegraph
By Ralph Chapoco, North Platte Telegraph

By Ralph Chapoco, North Platte Telegraph

Parents and their children took time this week to spend an evening together and learn how fun math can be.

Washington Elementary School staff and administrators hosted Math Night on Thursday in North Platte, Nebraska. Families visited the school and enjoyed math-related games and activities.

“One of the things we like to do is involve the parents, so we have two to three different functions throughout the year,” Title I teacher Julie Kinnaman said. “It focuses around activities parents can do at home with their children, including games to reinforce addition or subtraction.”

For approximately 60 minutes, students could play against their parents or classmates in several games. In another area, students assembled numerous shapes to construct three-dimensional objects while others were preoccupied with counting money or rolling dice as a way to practice counting.

“Each of the classroom teachers has some type of a game activity to keep the students interest,” Kinnaman said. “Each year the teachers purchase a few of those games or come up with some ideas and we put them out during the event.”

Throughout the night, students had the chance to win candy, from Tootsie Rolls to Hershey’s Kisses, if they were the closest to estimate the amount of candy that was actually inside the six jars that were laid out.

“Estimation is a skill used in life,” Kinnaman said. “[For example], if I am mixing cement and figuring out how much water to add.”

Aside from the additional practice time for students, the event was also designed to give parents ideas about incorporating math into everyday activities.

“When you have a parent that reinforces learning and students realize math can be fun, it is a good thing,” Kinnaman said. “It doesn’t have to be boring.”

Many parents who attended agreed.

“My first-grader loves math so she was really pushing for us to go,” parent Kimber Barney said. “It is great they have all these stations.”

See photos: