Woodside Elementary School students enjoy “Mathtastic” Family Night

Math is the focus of serious learning and fun at Woodside Elementary. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.
Math is the focus of serious learning and fun at Woodside Elementary. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.

From an Everett Public Schools News Release.

Students rolled up their sleeves and lit up their minds at annual Family Math Night.

Look, I’m playing Cool Math!” exclaimed a second grade student at Woodside Elementary School during Family Math Night. “Mathtastic!” added a third-grade teacher.

About 215 kindergarten through fifth-grade students and their families filled Woodside Elementary’s cafeteria and gym in January 2017 for a long-running tradition where math is the focus of serious learning and fun.

Students hopped from station to station, working on hands-on math activities including:

  • Estimation Jars – students logically determined and explained their reasoning when deciding how many small objects were contained in each jar.
  • Giant Dice – a highly kinesthetic activity that combined math and physical education.
  • Number Talk – students looked at a developing diagram drawn by a volunteer and explained their reasoning why a particular number came to mind.
  • “Play and Take” math games – students used decks of playing cards and dice games that fostered a growth mindset in math and computer-based math games.

Students gathered stamps in their “passports” from each activity station, earning a prize for participating at all six.

Students and staff were not the only ones having fun at Math Night. “Family Math Night was surprising!” shared Jean Kim, a high school student volunteer at Math Night.

I remember math as being a boring subject when I was a kid, but it was intriguing to watch elementary school students working on math games voluntarily, for their own enjoyment. I signed up to volunteer through my high school honor society, and being there made me realize the real reason to volunteer – one usually comes away with better understanding of the world. Who would have ever thought kids would actually enjoy doing math? The whole thing was pretty amazing.

Dr. Betty Cobbs, Woodside Elementary School principal, said, “The success of Family Math Night is a result of leadership, collaboration, creativity and a great deal of work by the teachers of Woodside Elementary. Full credit goes to teachers and the leadership of the building math cadre.”

From witnessing the excellence of Woodside Elementary School’s Family Math Night, it is easy to see why Woodside students score significantly higher than the Washington state average in grade level math assessments,” noted district STEM facilitator, Andy Sevald, who attended the event.

Teacher leadership and administrator support is paying significant dividends in student learning while also proving that math can be fun.”


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