Math and Reading For Breakfast

Eric, the father of a Westridge Elementary first grader, changed his morning routine today.

Instead of sitting at home for breakfast and then going to work, he was sitting on the floor of Ms. Robbins’ class listening to his son read.

Eric and his wife, Holly, added Westridge’s Math & Literacy Morning to their Wednesday morning schedule so their son could show them his classroom and what he is learning.

It’s was a “student-directed” event. Students – instead of the teacher – explain classroom activities and talk about what they are learning. Teachers are on hand to answer questions, if needed.

Sixth grader Olivia showed her dad, Steve, how to play Multiplication Baseball. The game is one of several activities her teacher uses that directly supports the math curriculum and helps provide real-life applications of math concepts.

“It is always positive to see what she is doing and how she is doing it, so I can talk to her about it when she gets home,” Steve said. “It also helps me check and make sure she knows her math facts.”

Olivia may just have it down because she was beating her dad in the game.

Joan watched her first grade granddaughter do a math skill-building activity on an iPad. She noted that the event helps her see what her grandchild is learning, and how the classroom has changed. “This is great,” she said leaning over to see the iPad. “It helps make learning fun.”

Principal Mary Jane Stites explained that it is her building’s goal to increase communication with parents.

Now in its second year, the event started out just as Math Morning and focused on giving parents more information about Everyday Math, a math curriculum implemented in the district three years ago. Reading and literacy were added this year to cover more subject areas.

Reading is exactly what kindergartener Olivia was doing with her parents. “I love my friends. I love Iowa,” she said, reading aloud from a journal she had written herself.

Mom and Dad’s morning reading today didn’t include the news headlines, but they clearly got important information.