Since the Math Trailblazers program is likely different from what is familiar to most parents and grandparents, curriculum presentations can help build understanding and support. Parents want assurances that the content and approaches of the school’s math program will not only educate and interest their children now, but also benefit them later when test scores, school admissions, and career preparedness become serious realities. Most adults experienced a mathematics curriculum that focused almost exclusively on teaching facts and standard procedures for computing. Many of the math skills in that curriculum remain important today, but a changing world has created many other essential math skills that students need when they enter the work force. Parents must understand that Math Trailblazers maintains a careful balance between developing skills, underlying mathematical concepts, and problem solving. Moreover, parents must understand the importance of teaching the other mathematics strands such as algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis.
One way to help parents understand the goals and philosophy of a mathematics program is to organize special math-related programs for families. Some suggested programs are:
• Curriculum Night: The goals and philosophies of the program are presented (See our easily modifiable PowerPoint and our Philosophy PowerPoint on the Resource page for ideas to get start);
• Math Carnival: Attendees move from one math activity to the next at their own pace; (See Math Carnival Games for suggestions
• Teacher-Led Math Night: Families visit their child’s math classroom and work together through grade-level specific activities and games;
• Math Night Classroom Rotation: Families rotate through a series of classrooms so they can encounter activities or games from a variety of grade levels.
Other helpful information: