Peabody Family Math Challenges

Peabody Family Math Challenges
Posted on 10/31/2017

This month we will be introducing the Peabody Family Math Challenges! Some of the problems we’ll select to solve come from the Bedtime Math website/archives. Our hope is to build parent engagement and kids' math skills! Our plan is to include solutions to the problems from our own Peabody families, so be sure to drop them in the bin in the main office for our review. We’ll notify you if your family’s solution has been chosen.

We agree with Cathy Seeley, Carol Dweck, and Jo Boaler and their thinking about being smart in mathematics. In her book, Building a Math-Positive Culture, Seeley suggests that, “Mathematics is a broad discipline, and there are many ways to be smart in math. Some students are good at seeing relationships among numbers, quantities, or objects. Others may be a creative problem solver, able to come up with non-routine ways to approach an unfamiliar problem. Still others may be good at visually representing relationships or problems, or translating from one representation to another – from a graph to a table, from an equation to a graph, or from a word problem to a pictorial model, for example. All of these students – and – others should have the opportunity to access mathematics from different entry points and become successful math students.” (pgs. 6-7)

In addition, we continue to encourage students to “Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them” (CCSSM, 2010, p. 6). To support this Standard for Mathematical Practice, we hope that by providing weekly math problems for students to think about, we’ll instill a love for tackling challenging math problems and working persistently towards finding a solution. In the text Parents Matter, Regina M. Mistretta states that, “parents can:

  • Provide time for your child to discuss with you his or her approaches and solutions.

  • Offer guiding feedback. Hold back from giving answers. Be the ‘guide on the side,’ rather than ‘the sage on the stage.’

  • Solving math problems is a process. Let your child know that thinking about a math problem takes time, and encourage him or her to persevere.” (p. 21)

Finally, please look for a survey for families in the near future about the programs we’re using for mathematics instruction and practice. We hope to have everyone participate in giving us feedback on what we can to do make learning mathematics more fun for students and parents alike.