- A growing number of elementary schools are hosting math festivals designed to make math more appealing to students and to help engage parents in understanding and supporting new standards and instructional practices in schools, EdSource reports.
- The growing popularity of these festivals is, in part, a response to the misunderstandings and increased rigor associated with the new Common Core math standards being implemented across the nation.
- Math teachers say it is important to engage students early in math instruction to them see the subject as one that is fun and interesting, and to increase their confidence in solving math problems.
As the need for STEM skills increases in the job market of the present and the future, math instruction faces its greatest challenges: apathy and misunderstanding. Math festivals are one way schools are striving to get students and parents engaged in the more fun and challenging aspects of mathematics and encourage a long-term appreciation for — and interest in — the content area.
This idea of student and parent engagement in curriculum can be carried over to other aspects of school as well. Some schools are holding Family Science Nights or STEM festivals to spark interest in those areas. Family literacy nights help engage students in learning to read and help parents understand how to reinforce reading skills at home.
Events such as these address two main components of successful education: engaging students and engaging parents in what their children are learning. Helping students see how lessons applies outside of the regular school day can increase their interest in learning. And parental engagement encourages the support students need in order to succeed. Both elements can make the job of an educator much easier.