May 30, 2016
A FEW HUNDRED parents and guardians attended a math symposium designed to teach them how their children are learning math in the 21st century. Afterward, they say it added a richer understanding of their children’s education experience.
Ella Farias, with two children enrolled at Burlington’s Clarksdale Public School, said she and her husband attended the April 30 event because they wanted to better understand how educators are teaching their children. Given what they learned at the symposium held at Garth Webb Secondary School, she said they can help them even more with their math work.
“It’s important to be able to teach them and not confuse them,” Farias said, recognizing teaching math has changed since her time in school. “When they have homework, we can understand their thought process. I think this symposium is great.”
Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the Halton District School Board, said the symposium proved to be a “huge success” with parents. In fact, when registration for the event opened, it quickly reached capacity within a few days.
“Parents and students were engaged and they indicated they wanted to attend more sessions,” she said.
The symposium was designed, Blackwell said, to teach parents/guardians the numerous ways students in the Halton Board are taught math in the 21st century. Breakout sessions addressed topics such as DreamBox, Growth Mindset in Math, Number Talks and Mental Math, How to Support Your Child in Learning Math, Math in Kindergarten, and more.
“We hope parents learned new ideas to support their child at home with mathematics, develop a better understanding of how their child is learning mathematics strategies, to develop perseverance in problem solving with their children, and the importance of positive attitudes towards mathematics.”
A key reason to host this kind of event is because parent involvement in understanding mathematics is important to their child’s success, she said.
“Parent engagement is a critical focus for our Board,” Blackwell said. “We know our parents play an important role in their child’s attitude toward, and success with, mathematics.”
Research states that students whose parents/guardians show an interest in and enthusiasm for mathematics will be more likely to develop that enthusiasm themselves and persevere to learn and succeed in mathematics, she added.
While the goal is to host another math symposium next year, Blackwell noted similar workshops will be offered during the upcoming Parent Involvement Committee conference on Saturday, October 15 in Milton. It is free and open to parents/guardians to attend. More information can be found here.