Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Family Math Night being expanded

Education columnist

Not long ago we reported on Gattis Middle School’s “Family Math Night,” noting that more of these events would be forthcoming.

Not only is it time for the next in the series, the event will be expanded. The Nov. 17 Family Math Night (from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) will have activities with the rigor bumped up a bit for more of a challenge.

Also, rumor has it that teachers are incorporating technology during the upcoming event with some fun math competitions using iPads and other technologies.

Gattis math teacher Deborah Davidsen said that while Gattis teachers will be facilitating the evening’s activities, the Girl Scouts of NM Trails will be a sponsor for the event. “They will provide the math department with six student-led STEM Math Stations (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) … designed so that students compete against their parents using math skills (decimals, fractions, and percentages) learned in their respective grade level math classes.”

Additional news is that Gattis’ English department teachers are finalizing plans for their upcoming “Fall Fun Night” that will take place on Tuesday at the same time, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Gattis English teacher Suzanne Dickinson described the evening as a “great way to get more information out to parents about PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing and other information as well as to answer questions we’ve been receiving from parents.”

There will be fun activities related to language arts. “Bingo for Books” is always a popular choice. There will be activities using technology for language arts. A workshop will be held for “close reading,” to help parents better understand strategies used to improve student comprehension in reading.

There will be also be a PARCC workshop for parents to learn more; a computer lab will be set up for parents (on both evenings — math and English) to try out sample PARCC online test questions to better understand what students will encounter during spring testing.

PARCC is “a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers.”

The states include: Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

Dickinson continued her description of the English “Fall Fun Night:” This night is for fun and for information. We want parents and community members to get a closer look at the PARCC test students will be taking this spring. We also want to get as much info out to parents and the community about Common Core and the rigor we expect from all the children in our community.”

She continued: “Sometimes change is hard, and the Common Core is definitely different. I love teaching and have seen some very positive effects from the new standards. Give me a challenge any day to improve my teaching and my students’ learning.”

Well put; we should all strive to be life-long learners.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at [email protected]