School of Education students present Family Math Nights

December 1, 2014
Family Math Night

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Students in the UW-Platteville School of Education’s Teaching Mathematics and Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Setting course cooperated with the teaching staffs at Ridgeway Elementary School in Ridgeway, Wis., and Dodgeville Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wis., to present two Family Math Nights.

Under the direction of the course instructors – Dr. Jodean Grunow, senior lecturer of mathematics at UW-Platteville; Dr. Leigh Monhardt, associate professor of education at UW-Platteville; and Erin Edgington, the university/school district liaison and STEM coordinator at UW-Platteville – 38 university students who are pre-service teachers worked with the elementary school teachers to offer the event.

Grunow said that both school staffs and the pre-service teachers were pleased with the attendance, as more than 175 children and adults attended the event. Participating elementary students were able to access several of the investigations and spend time working with each. Many of the presenters had take-home materials, so students could return home and continue with learning experiences.

Grunow said a focal point at both schools is sustaining the growth they have realized in their mathematics programs as they have addressed incorporating current national, state and district mandates. “The UW-Platteville mathematics/science methods course works on providing realistic experiences for pre-service teachers who are ready to do their student teaching.”

Guided by Grunow, Monhardt and Edgington, UW-Platteville students worked with the elementary school teachers to select mathematical tasks that showcased what was being done in their classrooms. The university students developed lesson plans and perfected materials, activities and games for a family mathematics experience that would include a broad audience of children of varying ages and their parents.

“The Family Math Nights were the result of intensive communication and considerable effort between the UW-Platteville students and the RES and DES staffs,” said Grunow. “Both were outstanding evenings. Parents, students, faculty and administration were pleased with the event. UW-Platteville students found the activity to be fun and challenging as well as a good learning experience and a plunge into the real world of teaching.”

Parent groups at both elementary schools provided many of the supplies. The Dodgeville High School National Honor Society provided assistance as needed.

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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