Event to make kids enthusiastic about math

Math can be fun.

Mississippi Elementary School second-grade teacher Emily Bornetun presides over the making 10 bango game. In that game, Bornetum called out a number and participants had to pick a number that made 10. For example, she announced the number five and participants were supposed to place the number five to make 10 on their bango board.

Mississippi Elementary School second-grade teacher Emily Bornetun presides over the making 10 bango game. In that game, Bornetum called out a number and participants had to pick a number that made 10. For example, she announced the number five and participants were supposed to place the number five to make 10 on their bango board.

That’s what both students and parents discovered at Mississippi Elementary School, Coon Rapids, Oct. 25.

The school hosted a math bango night in which grade-level bango games were available in different rooms.

The event was open to pre-school through fifth-grade students.

Families could stay in the same room for some or all of the three rounds of bango that were played or they could move to other rooms and try other math games.

The math bango games practiced skills that math students in the designated grades will encounter at school, according to Dawn Applequist and Carlyn Wilson, the Mississippi teachers that organized the night.

The pre-school room featured number bango; kindergarten, dot bango; grade one, making five bango; grade two, making 10 bango; grade three, add or take away tens bango; grade four, multiplication bango; and grade five, math words bango.

The math bango night was a supplemental program for math to fully involve parents and provide them with the tools to work with their kids, Wilson said.

In other years, the school has hosted family nights that focused on other core subjects in the curriculum she said.

This year it was math’s turn and Applequist and Wilson decided to use bango, a derivative of bingo, for the family night event to which both students and parents were invited.

“We use bango not bingo in Coon Rapids,” Applequist said.

The Coon Rapids Lions Club has a bango for books program that it takes into Coon Rapids elementary schools where the prizes are books.

This math bango night was created by Applequist and Wilson using materials from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and other sources.

“We want to make students enthusiastic about math, not dread it,” Applequist said.

“The same for parents who quite often dread math.”

“Math is a core part of our curriculum.”

Besides teachers who volunteered their time for the evening, members of the Coon Rapids High School National Honor Society and the Mississippi Student Council also helped out.

According to Applequist, there were plenty of prizes to give out – and not just to game winners.

All the prizes were donated and distributed by the end of the math bango evening, Applequist said.

Materials prepared by Applequist and Wilson giving parents’ tips and resources on ways to help their children succeed in math were sent home with them.

For example, one sheet stated, “Mathematics at home does not need to be formal pencil/paper instruction.

“You can support the instruction taking place in the classroom through playing games and by talking about mathematics in day-to-day events.

“Playing games with your child involving numbers, dice and counting provides for important experiences in making sense of mathematics.”

Popcorn and juice were served prior to the math bango games.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com


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