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Seasonal Ideas

How Can You Reach Parents During Family Night?

When looking for items to place at a table during family night for parents, I stumbled across some great info already made on a website.  I took this info, and copied and pasted it into Microsoft Word with some cute fonts and borders.  I would offer you my final product here, but I would be infringing on copyright.  I will give you the links I used instead.

Ideas to Help Your Child Succeed and Enjoy Mathematics

Math Help Tips

Helping with Homework

Why Math Looks Different to Parents than When They Grew Up

And there is even a power point that you can play for parents–ready made!

See isn’t this great!




Do You Need an Idea for Family Math Night?

As promised, here are a few snapshots of our Family Math Event/100th Day of School Celebration!

Students built number bonds with Legos, and got to take a few Legos home!


Students built 10 groups of 10 to make 100 with different small food items.  This was one of kids’ favorites since food was involved!

As you can see in the picture above, this is one of the staff members that dressed up like she was 100 years old.  She said she got her whole outfit at Good Will for $4 with the exception of her wig from Party City.

Students played Race to 100 on the 100’s chart with dice.  They rolled and added the number that they rolled each time on their 100’s chart.

Double dice subtraction is a game idea taken from the Georgia Department of Education resources.

How creative!  This teacher made a multiplication/division edition of chutes and ladders complete with spinner.  Kids loved this activity.

Kids flocked to this booth where they made chocolate chip cookie dough.  Students mixed up the dough in a gallon baggie to prevent mess.  The math was in the measuring cups fractions.  They had to figure out how many small measuring cups to use in lieu of the larger cup sizes.  For example, if the recipe calls for a cup and a half of flour, how many times will you have to fill a 1/4 measuring cup?


We can’t forget the Estimation Station!  The closest guesser got to go home with the jar including candy!  We gave away five jars.

One of my personal favorites…maybe because it was my idea ;), is the 100 scavenger hunt.  Students had to find index cards hidden around the cafeteria.  Each card had an equation, but only some of the equations equaled 100.  If the equation made 100, students could then bring it to the scavenger hunt booth for a prize.


Students used different fruits and vegetables to equal up to a pound in this next picture after first estimating.

At the probability booth students used fractions to predict the chances of landing on a variety of spinners.  Students got to take home their own spinners.

We also had a technology table where students got to play math games on our schools mini laptops.

Moe’s Southwest grill kindly donated tortilla chips for us to have nachos!  And, the church next door to our school kindly donated lemonade!  We also got plastic sacks donated to us from a nearby restaurant so that students had a bag in which to place all of their take home math activities.

The kids went home with smiles!

A Few of the Best 100 Days of School Dress Up Costumes!

The following are some of the best 100 days of school dress up that we had.  We incorporated our Math Family Night with our Students’ 100th day of School Celebration.  I sent this letter that I used last year to inform parents of the day’s dress up celebration.  Again I used a rubric I adapted from Ms. Saoud’s blog at Primary Graffiti here.

Which costume do you like best?

Which child’s costume do you think won?

I’ll tell you at the end of the post!  🙂



My favorites are the “Name Your Own Star” –how clever…and the wrestlers belt–how creative!  I also especially like the student in the school uniform with the notes safety pinned to her because it looks very kid done!  Each note has a different word on it.

Here is my favorite staff dress up outfit. 

We also had a couple of staff members who dressed up like they were a hundred years old.  They had walkers and all!  One of our staff members had a sign on her front that said I am 100 years old.  On her back she had a question that asked, “When was I born?”  The kids had to bring her the answer written on a piece of paper.

I have a thing for puffballs, so I used 100 puffballs to make a scarf of sorts.  It didn’t quite turn out like I had wanted.  I used hot glue, so it was a bit stiff.  I glued all the puffballs to a ribbon.  Maybe if I was more of a seamstress it could have been a real scarf!  Nevertheless the kids loved the scarf and wanted to touch the puffs.  I gave the scarf away to one of the kids who asked me if he could have it at the end of the day.  I guess you get to see my totally cute new phone cover in the picture, too!  What an added perk! 🙂

To answer your question if you were wondering which child won from above, the first picture won of the little girl in the red shirt with all of the beads hanging down from safety pins.



Family Math Night…I’ll keep you posted!

I’m planning for another Family Math Night.  This time since the 100th day of school is the day after math night.  Because of this, I am incorporating our 100th day celebration along with Family Math Night.  I’m thinking about doing some fun things like…maybe a 100 scavenger hunt.  I am going to hide signs around the cafeteria which are equations that equal 100.  The catch is that some of them won’t equal 100.  Students who find the equations that equal 100 will get a prize.  I’ll keep you updated and be sure to post some pictures of all of the activities and ideas I have as they come to fruition!

Integrate Math and Literacy for a Halloween Costume!

For our fall carnival, we dressed up like a book character.  Me being the math coach, I wanted to incorporate literacy AND math.  I decided to become “The Greedy Triangle.”  The librarian says that kids LOVE this book.

I looked everywhere for cardboard large enough to make a human sized triangle and finally found some in the storage room–chart paper boxes.  The bottom of the triangle is as large as the box.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be equilateral like the true Greedy Triangle.  I’m isosceles, but that leads to some great geometry discussion with kids!

I covered my front and back triangle with yellow bulletin board paper.  Then I made the mouth eyes and nose with white and colored paper, and just glued it onto my front triangle.  I just drew the eyes and nose and mouth free handed, and outlined them with marker.  I folded the eyes in half so I would have a symmetrical shape.  The cheek circles I made by tracing a round cup.  A teacher next door helped me staple the yellow ribbon, which I had at home, to the two triangles.  The costume fits over my head like a sundress.  Underneath as you can see I wore black tights a black cotton T-shirt and skirt  which I already had.  I would say this whole project took me one hour and cost me nothing–not bad.

The costume isn’t user friendly however if you plan to sit a lot.  The cardboard doesn’t bend of course.  When going in and out of small areas I found that my vertices would bump into a lot of things.  However, this was a plus because I was able to use math vocabulary all day such as….”watch out for my vertices.” 🙂

I received lots of complements on this costume…some “aww how cute” from parents, kids, and teachers.  One parent thought I was pizza…but then where are my pepperonis?  I guess I could be a happy block of cheese, too! 🙂

With that said, I suppose you could adapt this costume to many things when trick or treating…


Picture this…

“Trick or Treat”

“Hi, honey, what are you dressed up as?”

“A block of cheese, but I’m lactose intolerant.”

“Oh, honey, here’s some extra candy!” 🙂

What Will You Do for Family Math Night?

After previously being at a PTA meeting, one of our parents voiced her opinion that many times students brought home homework with which parents weren’t able to help them because they were unfamiliar with the content.  Since  our parents have been in school themselves, many math strategies and methods are available to teach students–to mention a few–ten frames, ladder division, open number lines, compensation, bring it down addition, window method for multiplication.  Because of this we set up five stations for our parents in addition to the stations for our students. We really wanted to reach our parents because isn’t that what Family Math Night is all about?

We had six parent stations to teach parents what their children were learning at school–ten frames, addition strategies, subtraction strategies, multiplication strategies, division strategies, and technology.  The technology station gained much traffic due to its popularity.  We had a lap top d and an Ipad displaying websites and apps that parents could use at home to teach their children.  Many times when parents are sitting with their children in any waiting room, they hand their children cell phones to occupy them.  To capitalize on this, why not show them educational ways to occupy their children’s time?

For our students teachers developed all types of math stations.  We had three K-2 tables, three 3-5 stations, an estimation station, a technology station, and a music and math station.  The K-2 tables included dominoes and equations, ten frame games, and legos with number bonds.  The 3-5 tables included combinations with outfits, clock fractions, and measurement with paper airplanes.  Our technology booth for students was also a big success as students explored different math websites on laptops.

To encourage parent attendance, we served dinner, had door prizes, and announced  our 100th Day of School dress up winners.  We hope for even more attendance next year.  Pictured below are some of the stations and activities.

Clock Fractions


Cutting Clock Fractions...Notice the 100 Silly Bands


Estimation Station...The closest guesser wins the jar.


Estimation Station


Equations with Dominoes


Addition/Subtraction Tic Tac Toe and Take Home Base Ten Block Baggies


The addition/subtraction tic-tac-toe boards and take home base ten blocks shown above are present at a parent table.  We have an over abundance of base ten blocks at school. We have about 10 LARGE plastic containers of them that are not used in addition to the ones in teachers’ classrooms.  Since we have so many, we decided to send some home with parents.

Legos with Number Bonds


100th Day Dress Up

Ten Frame Station For Parents



Multiplication Booth


Technology Station


Math Websites Station





100th Day Dress Up

On the Hundredth Day of School, we decided as a staff to all dress up with 100 objects on our clothing.  I managed to get some photos of the most imaginative outfits.  Sorry some of the pictures I took without realizing I didn’t have on my flash.  We had a contest among the staff and then we had additional contests  for the K-2 students and for the 3-5 students.  I nominated a committee to judge the contests.  We announced the winners of the dress up that evening at the Family Math Night.

Accessories with 100 coins

How Creative!

100 barrets on a necklace

My T-shirt with 100 google eyes

Banana tree hat


Banana tree with 100 bananas and a monkey on top

100 bracelets

100th Day of School Dress Up Letter

Here is our hundredth day of school dress up letter that we sent home to parents to let them know about our festivities.  I am posting it here 100thDayofSchoolDressUp in Word format, so you can easily adapt the wording to fit your needs.   I am going to adapt Mrs. Saoud’s rubric from Primary Graffiti for the judging of the dress up contest.  We will reveal the winners of the contest at our Family Math night tomorrow evening to encourage parent and student attendance.  I will be posting pictures of this soon.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and since it is Christmas, I will share an excerpt from my favorite Christmas book.  I have made it somewhat of my own personal tradition to read this story every year at Christmas time to anyone who will listen, and I especially love to read the story to children!

“And I thought about the Angel of the Lord–Gladys, with her skinny legs and her dirty sneakers sticking out from under her robe, yelling at all of us, everywhere:  ” Hey! Unto you a child is born!”                                                    –The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

I hope you will enjoy this story, too!


How Can You Use Your Spare String of Christmas Lights?

You can easily find a string of Christmas lights at this time of year.  One year my mentor gave me the idea to put a string of lights around a bulletin board with this clever title:  See Your Name in Lights.  Post any type of student work and ta-da…a stellar bulletin board.  The great thing about this title is that you can leave the bulletin board up after Christmas since it doesn’t actually refer to the season or to a holiday.  It always makes me sad to put so much work into a bulletin board for Christmas, and then the holiday is over since we are only in school about two weeks out of December.  At this particular school we didn’t have any actual bulletin boards, so this isn’t as artsy as one I have made in the past.  We had to staple/push pin things into the drywall (shhh don’t tell), and the drywall doesn’t hold much.  For example, you could staple little sunglasses into the wall to resemble Hollywood stars and use metallic silver border to make the lights reflect like a real sign.




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