Absolutely! Once purchased, the kit and all its activities are yours to use over and over. In fact, teachers enjoy the activities so much that they use them in their classrooms throughout the year.
K-6 and K-8 schools actually have an advantage when it comes to purchasing the kit. They have access to older students who LOVE being station facilitators. Station facilitators help at each of the kits' 8 stations and these older kids take this responsibility very seriously. The younger kids also look up to the older ones making it a perfect fit.
In addition, some districts require community service hours for older students and this is a great way to earn those hours. But don't worry about the students not knowing what to do; the kit comes with video tutorials and detailed notes on working with students as station facilitators.
This is a pretty good problem to have! And, yes, it's important to make sure that they all have the opportunity to participate. One solution is to stagger the event. For example, you may have the first family math night from 5p.m. - 6:15 p.m. and the second from 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. If you do this, you may want to consider assigning families to a time slot.
Another solution is to purchase the Booster Pack which includes enough materials to serve an additional 5 students per activity level. That's 120 additional K-5 students per booster pack.
We took great care to have most of the activity sheets in the kit laminated so that they can be used over and over reducing the number of copies you need to make. There are, however, some stations where kids will be creating activities and projects to take home. The Family Math Night Coordinator packet includes an order form for these consumables.
Yes, people are busy. It seems that more and more gets piled on our plates every day. But school climates are undergoing a very exciting change and volunteering is actually on the upswing. A national movement has begun and its focus is on engaging parents as a part of the educational team. It's based on current research that shows that when families and schools partner together, learning increases, test scores go up, and kids develop more positive attitudes. A Family Math Night kit is the perfect way to engage parents on this academic level.
But there are still the nitty-gritties of recruiting volunteers. To help make this task easier, we've partnered with VolunteerSpot.com. VolunteerSpot makes it easy to sign up and organize volunteers and even set up automatic reminders. Gone are the days of chasing people around with clipboards. To see how easy it is to set up your Family Math night event using VolunteerSpot, click here.
We recognize that hearing the word 'math' does not always give off the warm fuzzies that we would like it to. But we're here to help and actually took this into consideration when we designed the kit. We know, because we've been told, that by the end of your event, you won't feel quite as uncomfortable with the math part of Family Math Night!
Here's how we do it: We carefully outline each station activity in the Station Facilitator's Packet in a way that is clear and easy to understand. We even give you background information to help you see the 'big picture' of the math in each activity. But because we know that different people learn in different ways, we also include video clips that walk you through each of the station activities. This has been a huge hit with parents who are facilitating the stations.
But we don't stop there. If, at any time during the organization of your Family Math Night event, you have questions, we are here to help. In fact, Karyn Hodgens, the creator of Family Math Night kits, will personally answer your questions. You are our number one priority.
All of the activities in the kit are aligned to the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM), the Common Core State Standards, and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills(TEKS). And since most school curriculum is designed around these standards, the kit activities reinforce what goes on in the classroom.
Research shows that, no matter the demographics, when families and schools partner together, students tend to get better grades, have higher attendance, improve their attitudes about school work; all of which translates to higher test scores. In fact, there is no greater predictor of student achievement than the extent to which families encourage learning at home and become involved in education at school.
So a Family Math Night kit is the perfect way to get parents involved in their child's academics. Not only does it support the learning goals of the school because all of the activities are standards-aligned, but it establishes a climate of partnership so necessary as we all work together towards the common goal of educating our children.