Math is the fundamental language of science and engineering and we should get our children interested, and stay interested in math. With that in mind, several parent volunteers, myself included, kicked off 2013 at Fiske Elementary with a Family math night sponsored by the PTO.
We held the Math Night in the cafeteria, with math activities divided roughly into three level of difficulties, laid out along the cafeteria and color coded with balloons. We were careful not to label activities with Grade levels so that a children (or an adult!) can feeling find his or her own comfort level and have fun. We also coded some simple and not so simple math problems and posted them up as QR codes. (You can try an easy one by scanning the pictures in this blog post.)
Over 150 parents, staff and children attended. Dr. Ash dropped in and worked on a few puzzles with the children. Mr. Martellone stayed with us until the end of the evening to do the drawing for the raffle prizes. The surprising hit event though, was the math jokes open mike time. Some student came with prepared jokes. Some took on the challenged and told jokes from our collection. For example: What do you call an empty parrot cage? (answer at the end of article).
Seriously, math is fun and it is everywhere. From comparing cable TV discount plans, to understanding your 401K. We need to encourage our children to develop an appreciation, and understanding of math. It is a skill that they will need whether they end up being scientist and engineer, or writer and artists. And the answer to the joke? Polygon.