Wayne State University

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College of Education students make math fun for families

College of Education students make math fun for families

The College of Education's Division of Teacher Education recently hosted a Family Math Night at GoLightly Education Center in Detroit.

The event featured math games for students in grades K-8, their families and caregivers. Wayne State students engaged participants in activities designed to increase reasoning and problem-solving skills. Each family received games they could play at home.

The Family Math Night celebrated the culmination of a semester where elementary education students planned and implemented innovative mathematics activities in local schools as part of a math methods course.

Assistant Professor Jennifer Lewis said the course teaches students first-hand how to be effective urban educators.

Throughout the course, students meet weekly to work with children from Detroit Public Schools, putting the theories they learn about mathematics education into practice. "They rehearse and enact innovative mathematics tasks with children based on the research they study," Lewis said.

Part of each session also includes reflection on what children learned, how instruction supported that and what evidence students could use to evaluate the instruction. Students videotape themselves teaching to help improve their instruction.

"Our students have the opportunity to work with the children, parents and teachers while becoming proficient in teaching standards-based mathematics tasks," Lewis said.

April is observed nationally as Mathematics Awareness Month. The 2013 theme is "mathematics sustainability." Visit mathaware.org to learn more about the observance.