Family Math Night

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 9:50 a.m. CDT
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(Doug Oleson - doleson@shawmedia.com)
Bridget Bulthaup and her son, Jack, 7, try to beat a calculator in the learning center.
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(Doug Oleson - doleson@shawmedia.com)
First grader Brynn Gawel, 6, shows off the cube she made with marshmallows and toothpicks.
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(Doug Oleson - doleson@shawmedia.com)
David Oeters plays a computer math game with his son, William, 8, in the school's computer lab.
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(Doug Oleson - doleson@shawmedia.com)
Alicia Zajdel helps her 6-year-old son, Landon, decorate a fraction cookie.
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(Doug Oleson - doleson@shawmedia.com)
Sydney Gonzalez, 10, tries to stack cups at one of the stations in the cafeteria at Hinckley-Big Rock Elementary School.

HINCKLEY – Who says math can’t be fun? It can be if you combine it with games, family and cookies – lots of cookies.

That’s what happened at the annual Family Math Night at Hinckley-Big Rock Elementary School Thursday.

According to H-BR kindergarten teacher Amanda Garrey, a number of games and activities were set up in three different rooms throughout the school that got students using math in ways they didn’t have to think about.

“We’re just trying to mix fun and math,” she said, adding that the games were divided into  different age and skill levels.

In the computer lab, there were Everyday Math games online. In the learning center, activities included games with numbers, a two-fisted penny addition game and multiplication wrestling. In the cafeteria, students and their parents could decorate cookies, make marshmallow shapes and stack red and blue plastic cups into pyramids.

Garrey said the students could pick whatever station they wanted, and they could stay as long as they wanted. The students, with their parents’ help, can play many of the same games at home while working on their math skills at the same time.

The class with the most participants was awarded a prize.

Like many of her classmates, 6-year-old Brynn Gawel said she liked the fraction cookie decoration station the most. Her mother, Cary Gawel, said they go to math night every year.

Another parent, Doug Zabel, said he and his wife have taken their children, now 10 and 8, to math night ever since their oldest started gong to school. One of them likes math, he said, while the other doesn’t.

“My wife likes to come here because she can be Miss Social with all the other moms,” he said.

“Thanks for the sugar,” another mother called out good-naturedly as she left the building with her two small children, armed with cookies, candy, marshmallows and snack mix.

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