Friday, May 4, 2018

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.In the gymnasium of Union Elementary, principal Michael Masucci gave the families plants to work on the students' measurement and data skills. Pictured are Jaxon and Tiffiny Vesey.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The math night began with students doing their number corner activities that they do each morning. The number corner is a twenty minute math lesson that covers a variety of topics, such as pattern recognition.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The families had three stations, including one that demonstrated the workplace activities the students do each day. These activities are math-based games that reinforces the students learning. Pictured, Michele, Sylvia and David Simonelli played a counting game.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Families went to the cafeteria in Union Elementary during the math night for a fraction lesson. They drew fractions on a pizza box while enjoying pizza. Pictured are Michelle and Josh Izenour and their daughter Ella.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Union Elementary hosted a math night for parents to see what their students' everyday math instruction is like at the school. Each grade level had a math night to demonstrate the school's newly adapted Bridges math program.

By ZACK SHIVELY

Union Elementary invited families to the schools on several nights to give them a hands-on look at the building’s new Bridges math program.

The kindergarten had their math nights on Feb. 28 and March 1, the first grade had math nights on March 6 and 13 and the second grade had theirs on March 14 and 15. Each night’s events lasted two hours and included sample math lessons and three stations that the classes moved between.

Principal Michael Masucci welcomed everyone to the school. He was pleased by the turn out of each night, saying about 80 percent of the students returned after school for the math nights.

Masucci and the teachers organized the event to display the actual math instruction that Bridges incorporates into every school day. They also had stations for fun activities and treats to thank the parents for coming out to the event.

Each of the grades began with a 20-minute number corner lesson, as the classes do first thing each morning. They skipped the number corner activity during the school day on the day of the event to show it to the parents later that night.

For example, the second-grade number corner on March 15 had them work on pattern recognition. They looked at previous results and predicted future results.

Then, they went into their “class bank“ where the students rolled dice to see how much the class would deposit or withdraw from the bank. One class had a withdrawal of $54 from their $269 account. They showed the parents how to do the work using concepts of the Bridges program.

The parents moved between three stations after the number corner lesson. They either went to the cafeteria or the gym or they stayed in the classroom.

Those in the cafeteria ate pizza and then used the box to draw fractions. The students drew pizzas on boxes from Cocca’s Pizza and cut the pieces into different fractions.

The families met Masucci in the gymnasium where he talked about his dad with landscaping as a child and why he brought a greenhouse to North Elementary and Union Elementary. He then gave each family a begonia flower, a tomato plant and a marigold flower. They compared elements of each flower and placed the information on a bar graph and line plot, which worked on their measurement and data skills.

In the classroom, the parents learned about student work stations. In addition to a lesson and number corner, the students participate in math-related games each day. Many of the games worked on counting and using the base 10 technique that Bridges teaches.

For example, in the second-grade classroom of Suzanne James, the families played games such as the 200s jumping game, where each family rolls a die and flipped a penny to move forward or backward. The students got to choose their first game, then James had each of the families play a geometry game, since that was what the class was learning during the school day.

The night did not display the instruction the students receive during the day. Instead, it showed the families all of the other math-based activities and learning the students get daily through the Bridges program. It taught the parents how the Bridges lessons use different techniques to do problems.