Sunday, 1 February 2015

Making Maths Connections With Families

As we begin the new school year in Australia, we start to think about how we can help our students make genuine connections with what they are learning. One way to help support our students to make these connections is, where possible, engage our student's families too!

Below are some ideas that might assist you in making maths connections with your families...
  • Send home a classroom newsletter that includes the Maths topics you will be covering throughout the term
  • In student's diaries - students record the maths topic they are focusing on that week. This could also act as an invitation to families - they can contribute to the topic if it is relevant to them (for example a brick layer may be able to share their knowledge about tessellations)
  • Hold a 'Maths Morning' - invite families into the classroom to enjoy some of your favourite maths games 
  • When making maths games for the classroom - make a few extras. Send these home with students and encourage them to teach their family how to play. When you build up a bank of these - they can be sent home with every student on a weekly basis. And yes... some may go missing from time to time - however, this shouldn't deter us from trying!
  • Hold a 'Maths Information Evening' - use this night to outline the current strategies used for 'the basics' in each year level. Keep it simple and have a one page overview for families to take away with them
  • Set Maths Investigations for homework - these could be linked to current topics being studied. For example, if you are studying symmetry - ask students to collect photos or make drawings of items they find around their home that are symmetrical and bring these to school to share
  • In your school newsletter - include a Maths Corner. Each class can contribute a puzzle, activity or game to be published
  • As students arrive in the mornings - have a variety of maths games out and ready to be played. Students can play with other students or invite a parent/carer to join in if they have time
  • Invite in parents as guest speakers - ask them to share how they use maths in their daily lives
  • As parent/teacher/student meetings are held - invite students to share their favourite pieces of work (share work from a range of subjects, including maths)
  • Build a Maths Dictionary with students - as each topic is investigated, add in new definitions as appropriate. This can then be shared with families at school or sent home
We recognise that it is not always possible to make connections with all families, however, this doesn't stop us trying! We also understand that for many adults, mathematics can be quite intimidating, particularly if they struggled with this at school themselves. It is important to make these connections with families as inviting and supportive as possible, so that all involved feel comfortable and able to contribute.

If you have any other great ideas you have used to help make home - school connections in maths,
please feel free to share!