MVES shares math-teaching strategies with parents

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative employees Kimberly Davis and Ashley Tilley turned Meadow View Elementary School’s library into a classroom on Oct. 26, but the seats weren’t filled with children.

Instead, the class was filled with several parents who were looking to better guide their students when helping them with math homework.

The two AMSTI employees, working alongside MVES math coach Joy Gould, organized two “Lunch and Learn” events for parents throughout the day. During each session, Tilley and Davis shared strategies parents can use at home while helping their children with math homework.

“The main purpose is to get parents on board with what a lot of people call ‘new math,’ even though it’s been in place for a while,” Davis said. “The kids spend a lot of time at school, but during the time they aren’t at school they’re with their parents.

“By using older methods, parents can negate what their kids have learned in class, not intentionally,” she added. “Parents are their kids’ first teachers, and we need their help.”

During the first of two lunch and learn sessions on Oct. 26, about 20 parents learned about the math fluency levels teachers reach to achieve in their students by the end of each grade. Davis said teachers strive for math fluency, rather than memorization, because it allows students to fully understand math concepts.

“We want our children to be fluent with numbers, because that means no matter what setting they are in, they will be able to find the answer,” Davis said.

The two AMSTI employees showed the parents how children learn to complete math problems in the classroom, and demonstrated activities the parents can complete with their children at home to strengthen their math skills.

“Parents and the school have to work together as a team,” Davis said.