The projects below may be separated into categories, but as parents and educators, we all wear many hats. You may just find that you glean a little something from each project.
Family Math Night
by Rebekah Davis and Reada McConnaughy
This project came as a response to Davis' previous experience as a middle school teacher. She remembers hearing "from parents about their dislike of math and criticism of the Common Core standards" and students' resignation that “they will never have to use this in life." Her team held the event on their 100th day of school for the year, had many engaging games and activities that incorporated math, and witnessed appreciation for the fun that math can bring. There was a table with information for families where they shared the idea of a fixed/growth mindset and avoiding language that promotes fixed language. The event was a success and they will incorporate it into their yearly Family Engagement Nights.
Family Math Night at Cuddeback Elementary
by Ronda Jensen
This project included 24 math activities including:
-basic number recognition
-addition and subtraction
In total, 79 students and 58 parents and teachers attended!
Celebrating Math/ Pi Day
by Alia Craven and Kelcie Radcliffe
For our project, we hoped to create a day of fun, hands-on learning that our whole school community could participate in. Our primary goal of this project was to provide several opportunities for our students to experience math in various engaging and hands-on ways.
Our other goal was to collaborate with teachers at our school site, sharing information that we were learning through HEMLT, in hopes of fostering positive mathematical mindsets, increasing foundational math skills, and incorporating more play-based strategies in all classrooms. During the planning process, we were able to present ideas and collaborate with fellow teachers at our school to develop a variety of math experiences that student groups would rotate through during a “Fun Friday’. Each classroom hosted a different math activity involving math games, STEM challenges, art projects, manipulative exploration, measuring recipes and/ or movement activities. Groups of K-2 students and 3-6 students rotated through different classrooms and participated in the various activities.
It was truly a joy to see our whole school community celebrating math in many ways. This would be a wonderful whole school activity to continue to implement every year!
Arcata Elementary Math Intervention Program
by Carrie Hurst
My project was born out of one of my district’s LCAP goals: to improve student’s CAASPP math scores. I designed a math intervention program for a very specific group of third through fifth graders based on their scores in the various math sections of the CAASPP.
Although I have created a framework for the intervention program, my role as a classroom teacher has meant that I will not be a part of the implementation. Initially, I believed the physical creation of the program would be the entirety of my project. Now, I can see that my project has just begun. In my eyes, for the program to be successful, students won’t only demonstrate understanding through standardized test scores, they will exude mathematical confidence and excitement. Wouldn’t it be amazing to transform frustrated, traumatized math students into mathematicians that become leaders in their classrooms?!
Through the process of this program’s creation, I have come to realize my leadership role is in sharing my experience and learning over the past year with my colleagues and those who will implement the intervention program. Through my participation in HEMLT, I’ve learned and become convinced that my second graders can be collaborative learners. I have a plan for teaching group participation and group member roles (thank you, Beth Baker and Jo Boaler). We begin the year focused on creating a learning community and being respectful of each other’s learning. In making math more of a collaborative activity, I expect that my students will also learn about being responsible for each other’s learning by encouraging them to be skeptics and embrace the struggles. I look forward to continued collaboration with the members of HEMLT in the years to come.
by Alyssa Biesecker, Karin Mohrmann, and Tina Peretz
Our team developed a game called “Math Golf” and set up 9 “holes” around the room. At each hole students were asked to roll dice until they completed the challenge for that hole. We offered three versions of the game depending on grade level.
Students played against one other person (a parent, friend, or older student volunteer) and many of them played the game more than once! Our goal was to show parents how practice with math can be fun! Each family took home dice and a game board to play again at home.
TK-1 were focused on the idea of more than, less than or equal to.
Grades 1-3 were rolling two 10-sided dice focusing on sum and difference.
Grades 4 and up were rolling two 10-sided dice focusing on the product of the two numbers.
Game Based learning in the Classroom and the Annual Math Fair at Washington Elementary School
by Erin Barres
This project focused on bringing game based learning into the classroom and encouraging math thinking and curiosity in our young learners. First, I worked with our Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers in developing and integrating games into their daily lessons in a workstation format to help build fluency and automaticity. Students looked forward to the games and I observed how much they were learning in the low stakes, but high engagement and fun format.
I also helped plan and organize the Math Fair, which is an annual event held at Washington Elementary School each Spring. This year, our Math Fair theme was on engaging students with "I notice, I wonder" talks to help build curiosity and engagement in math learning with our speaker, Bill Funkhouser leading the talk. The presentation was followed by grade level games in nine of our classrooms hosted by various teachers who helped facilitate each game. In addition, each student received a bag of cards, pair of dice, transparent chips and instructions for each game they played in the classrooms with hopes that this would encourage the game-based learning to continue at home. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders in our state, the Math Fair scheduled for March 26. 2020 had to be postponed. In years past, this has drawn 75-100 people, composed of students, their families and our staff.
Math Teachers Circle
by Reada McConnaughy
My HELMT project was developing and supporting training opportunities using mathematical mindset strategies and lessons. As part of CMCFN, I was able to help with two Boaler Boosters for all participants to share grade level activities and lessons. I prepared and led a Math Teacher Circle where we discussed two of Jo Boaler’s including Limitless Mind. We explored the resources from the YouCubed.org website in each training.
Math Homework Activity Bags
by Sami Schrum
In an effort to shift families' fixed mindsets about math, I created a new approach to how we assign math homework for 2nd grade at Washington Elementary. Many families have a negative outlook on math and don't believe they're capable in helping their students with their math homework. Instead of assigning the usual worksheets, I decided to try a new approach to get the whole family involved in a more positive way. Students were provided with game bags full of manipulatives like dice, cards, clocks, number lines, and more. They were also given books and information on growth mindset to read over as a family. After learning games in class, we sent home the directions for families to play together with the supplies sent home in the activity bags.
by Holly McLaughlin
Originally, my project revolved around creating math bags for the kindergarten families of Alice Birney that would go out monthly until the end of school and start fresh in the fall of 2020. I was also working with the After School program to supply them with the same bags to use with their kindergarten students and have a connection across campus. The bags consisted of activities and manipulatives from Kim Sutton and Jo Boaler. Due to Covid, this project was put on hold and I instead did a book study and blog review of "Mathematical Mindsets" by Jo Boaler. I learned so much and have recommended the book to educators I know.
The highlight of my work with HEMLT has been creating this website to showcase all of these local projects. I was inspired each time I got to read about a new project summary or see the resources my colleagues sent in. This site has the work of so many educators and I am proud to have been a part of this team.
For Families and Caretakers
Fact Fluency Can Be Fun
by Angie Pierce
This project is for students and families to learn more about how fact fluency is only a small part of mathematics and that thinking deeply is the most important part. Fact fluency has it's role, but is not the goal of mathematics. Angie's website has games and resources for both students and their adults!
Mindsets: Strategies to Facilitate Growth Mindset Attainment in Your Children During Home Isolation
by Isaac Coppock
This project sought to find ways to help the children, families, and community partners we work with attain their own growth mindsets. Coppock elaborated that "Mindset and belief in oneself goes such a long way towards an individual's willingness and ability to overcome obstacles, one of the most important skills a person can learn." Below is a handout he created to help families during shelter-in-place.
Parent Math Guide
by Maren Goodman
This website has resources galore for families! There are games to play outside, games with dice, and games with cards. Playing these games will help you as an adult inspire a lifelong love of mathematics in children, as they realize math is all around them and more than just a worksheet!
"Limitless Mind" by Jo Boaler
by Kim Sundberg
I had originally planned to implement a “Marvelous Monthly Math” rotation for the primary classes at my school, Fieldbrook Elementary, for my HEMLT project. The rotations would focus on a monthly theme with the following rotations: Read Aloud, STEM Project, Games, and Art. Unfortunately, due to COVID, I was not able to see my project through to fruition. I am hoping to do so when we return to “normal” post COVID. As a project alternative, I chose to read the book, Limitless Mind, by Jo Boaler and provide a list of my favorite quotes from the book. I found this to be extremely interesting as I have an interest in neuroscience as it applies to to education.
Family Child Care Education
by Monika Fridley, Rosa Sanchez de Delgado, Ana Tejada, and Anjelica Delgado
There are endless ways to use math in the home and, as home caretakers you are your child's first teacher! This resource is filled with thirteen pages of activities that you can do at home with children, whether you are a parent or caretaker!