Education Matters/Spring 2015
Into the second year of its three-year math strategy, the Halton District School Board continues to make parent involvement a key component of children’s math learning process.
The Board is focused on improving student math achievement through professional development for administrators and teachers, and improving students' conceptual understanding of, and confidence in, mathematics, explained Terri Blackwell, the Board’s System Principal of School Programs.
“Parent engagement is a critical focus for our board,” said Blackwell. “We know our parents play an important role in their child’s attitude toward, and success with, mathematics. The Board’s elementary math strategy is gaining provincial recognition.”
More than 500 parents have attended fall regional sessions that show parents how the Board is using various techniques and software to improve children’s confidence in math. The focus of these sessions, specifically, was to help parents understand howDreamBox, an adaptive learning technology, supports the development of number sense and promotes conceptual understanding in students.
In October, the Board held its annual Parental Involvement Committee conference. More than 100 parents attended the Mental Math and DreamBox workshops offered by Board staff.
After having heard back from parents about how much they appreciated the math sessions, the Board organized additional math sessions in April and May designed to teach the ‘Growth Mindset in Math’ concept. Parents/guardians are being provided with practical strategies to support children in developing confidence and capability in mathematics. In particular, they are learning about the ‘Growth Mindset’ approach, which focuses on the idea that students can improve their numeracy through hard work and dedication.
A Tuesday, May 5 session will be held at Oakville’s White Oaks Secondary School north campus starting at 7 p.m.
Beyond these Board-wide events, elementary schools have shared learning initiatives through Family Math Nights, School Council meetings, school websites and newsletters.