By All Calculations, Lower School Math Night Was a Hit

By Merry Adelfio, Lower School Math Coordinator and Instructional Coach

The Lower School faculty presented an evening of math learning for parents on Thursday, October 8. It was wonderful to see the parents interacting with the faculty, exploring new ways of thinking, and thoroughly enjoying being challenged. There were math stations for investigating 2D and 3D geometry, a chance to experience the hands-on integration of science and art exploring symmetry, demonstrations of multiple strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, a variety of algebraic reasoning challenges, an assortment of games, and even Minecraft tutorials. Parents gained a better understanding of how their children are learning mathematics in the Lower School and had fun in the process.

Several parents shared their thoughts on the event:

“Math Night was a wonderful, eye-opening experience as teachers shared their insights into how to get our children to engage with the world of math. It reminded us that mathematics is not about getting the right answer but about how we approach solving everyday problems using different concepts and techniques, thereby enriching our understanding of them. The truism “many paths lead to the same destination” took on an entirely different meaning in the context of math!”

—Ram Viswanathan, parent of Aparna V. ’24 and Aditya V. ‘26

“I learned so much about the ways to nurture and deepen mathematical thinking from understanding the conceptual approach to teaching and learning math in Lower School. Being able to see familiar topics conceptualized and reframed for teaching and learning helped me to better understand the necessity of this approach in PK-4 education. I played a base-X game with a teacher that helped me to gain flexibility in my understanding of place value principles. I thought of how lucky my child is to have such a rich approach to mathematical thinking throughout his development!”

—Alida Anderson, parent of Anderson C. ’28 

“I was pleased to see that math concepts were not taught through rote memorization. I enjoyed the multisensory approach such as geometry. During the event, Sabreena Jeru-Ahmed (art teacher) shared a wonderful art lesson on symmetry, and I was able to complete a tangram using an interactive iPad app!”

—Leya Reaves, parent of Chase R. ’28 

“At Math Night, I had the pleasure to visit the table hosted by Sabreena Jeru-Ahmed (art teacher) and Sam Francis (science teacher). It was a great opportunity to be reminded of how math is beautifully hidden and discretely present in fun ways during the study of art and science. From the perfect symmetry of a pair of butterfly wings to the adventurous mirror design of a mask folded in half…geometry, patterns, shapes, measurements! Art and science bring math to life for our younger ones!”

—Cristina Faz, parent of Jimena F. ’20, Elena F. ’24, and Santiago F. ’28

“I was surprised by the modern approach (i.e., relying on games) to teach math. It is very appealing. My sense is that games help kids learn math in a more natural way.”

—Pablo Lopez Murphy, parent of Malena L. ’28

“My wife and I enjoyed this event. As parents of a new 3rd grader and a new 4th grader, we were not sure how their [previous] math program prepared them for Sidwell Friends. We were pleased to see that there is a substantial overlap. I had a great time trying some of the games and chatting with the teachers.”

—Whit Peters, parent of Fiona P. ’25 and Finn P. ’26

More School News

The student performers of the Upper School Dance Ensemble performed on February 6 for their family, friends, and classmates. We are proud of their talent, dedication, and the community that supports them.

2020 EJC Day at the Upper School

The Upper School EJC Day on January 31 featured keynote speaker Natalie Randolph '98, director of Equity Justice, and Community. The day featured wellness activities to promote mental health and student-led workshops to explore identity.