Family Math Night a hit at Rocklin school

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Sierra Elementary School students learned that math can be fun at an event that combined math skills with hands-on learning.

At Family Math Night Nov. 8, students and their families took their turns at eight math stations featuring activities such as  In The Bag, focused on fractions, in which students are given clues to help determine how many teddy bears are in a bag. In Snails and Trails, participants make their own dice and use them in a racing game.
Mike Zajec and son Mikey made a ladybug clock together, using the dots on a ladybug to learn about angles.
“My goal is to bring families together in a fun, hands-on environment where they explore, communicate and learn about mathematics together,” said Karyn Hodgens, who founded Kidnexions with her husband, John.
Hodgens is a former teacher whose two sons attended Rocklin schools. When they were in elementary school, she started Family Math Nights at Sierra, and last year she and her husband started marketing them as two kits – Nifty Numbers and Math Medley.
“Not only is a Family Math Night event educational, but it’s a fun community-building event that serves as a great way to build positive family-school partnerships by engaging parents on an academic level,” she said.
Second-grade teacher Carol Durbin agreed that it’s important to get families involved in learning about math.
“In the evening, most parents sit down with their children and read, and it sends a message that reading is important and worth spending time on,” she said. “I don’t think families have that same experience with math.”
That’s why Family Math Night is so valuable, added Durbin, who hosted the Nov. 8 event with kindergarten and first-grade teacher Rebecca Burke.
“Parents are sitting side by side with their child or children. They’re inquiring, noticing, thinking and playing together. It’s sending the message math can be fun and is worth spending time on.”
For more information about Family Math Night, visit