Parents Return to Math Class at Wakefield Forest Elementary School
After Back to School Night in September, Wakefield Forest Elementary School third grade teacher Jessica Yaman realized something: parents were having problems supporting their children in math. Strategies and vocabulary had changed since they were in elementary school, and Yaman needed to think of a way she could help them understand how math is being taught in her classroom.
After much thought, Yaman came up with the idea of offering parents optional 30-minute before-school Coffee and Math Talks, during which she would make a short presentation on a specific topic and then open the floor to questions. Concentrating on multiplication, division, and geometry, the three sessions she has held so far have been very successful.
According to one parent, Yaman’s math talks have given her the tools to help her daughter understand challenging math concepts.“Before the math talks, my husband and I had been talking about the same thing in different ways,” she said. “I’ve tried to teach my child the way I was taught and that ends up in confusion.” Another parent added, “These sessions give us the same language that Ms. Yaman uses at school; this way we are all on the same page.” Yaman is planning to offer more Coffee and Math Talks that reflect the upcoming math curriculum.