Shifting the Culture of Math

What brought 1,015 people back to school last Monday night?


Math is traditionally a subject that is disliked and oftentimes, feared… by students… by parents… and sometimes even by teachers. This cannot be. If we want to help our students become confident and competent mathematicians, we need school cultures that love and celebrate math.

We want students to love math. We want teachers to love teaching math. We want families to be involved in and value the way we teach math. Our first-ever, Family Math Night was an important step in beginning to achieve that.

Here is a little glimpse of what made our Family Math Night such a success:

We had Grade 4 volunteers keeping “Live Stats” of how many people came from each division.

live stats


We had an open-ended question for each PYP strand of math that could be answered by anyone… from our youngest students to our teachers and parents!

Open Question Data

“What can you do with this data?”

Open Question Measurement

“What can you measure about a watermelon?”

Open question Number

“What is special about the number 10?”

Open Question Pattern

“The answer is 10. What could the question be?”

Open Question Shape

“What do you know about this shape?”


We had every classroom display the amazing math happening in their class.

Grade 1 Board Grade 2 Board Grade 3 Board Grade 4 Board Grade 5 Board KG Board

We had take-home resources for our parents.

Take Home Resources

We had interactive activities in the common spaces.

Months Old tall are you triangle problem

We had interactive, showcase classrooms for each grade where families could do math together.

20150323_181149 20150323_182005

We had a bingo cards where students would get a stamp for every interactive, showcase class they visited. (Any student who got three in a row could enter their card into a draw for a pizza party with 3 friends on the roof!)

Bingo Card

We had displays and activities to show how math is integrated into Visual Art, Music and PE.

Art Mathmath pe music


We posted 21 awesome careers that involve math.

math careers

The response was amazing! The following day I had students coming up saying…

“Math Night was amazing!”

“Thank you for organizing Math Night!”

“I had SO much fun at Math Night!” 

“Can we have Math Night every month?”

Having students, teachers and parents actually like math is one of the best ways we can help students become better at math. So let’s keep giving them reasons to like math!


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