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Sunday, January 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Event teaches kids, parents how to make math fun

Windsor Elementary’s fair included food, games and prizes

Parents and their children had an opportunity to learn how to make math fun last week at Windsor Elementary School.

The school’s parent-teacher organization sponsored the event that included dinner and math games such as a fraction game using pizza slices, or an interactive learning game called Quizdom which uses remote controls to answer questions and compete with other players.

Kay Aucutt, principal of the school, said the event helps parents support their children at home – each family took home a math tool kit that included rulers, playing cards and a clock.

She said making the activities fun for families takes away a lot of fear that many people have regarding math. She said that many adults tend to say, “I don’t do math,” but rarely do you hear them say, “I don’t do reading.” Programs like the math fair are meant to change that mindset.

Aucutt said many parents have come to her after attending previous math fairs excited about the games the kids learned. “They said, ‘We played those games all summer when we were camping,’ ” Aucutt said.

After a dinner of submarine sandwiches prepared by nutrition services of the Cheney School District, students and parents moved through the library, community room, gymnasium and computer lab to participate in games led by math students in Diane Dowd’s program at Eastern Washington University.

“It’s been very good to apply what we’ve learned in all our classes,” said Mallory Mielke, a junior at EWU majoring in education with a math minor.

The event was organized by Vince Songaylo, math coach at the school. Songaylo said that around 70 families came to the event and the school ran out of the 100 informational packets provided to its guests.

In the computer lab, Kathy Larsen, a paraprofessional at Windsor, set up the computers to math Web sites like www.mathcats.com and eduplace.com/kids/mw for kids at different grade levels to play around and learn.

“There’s just a whole variety of things that kids can play with,” she said.

“This is really fun that they do things like this,” Rhonda Hritsco said. Hritsco and her daughter, Mackenzie, 8, were in the computer lab playing different games. It was their first stop at the math fair – they were passing the room and thought it looked fun.

Spencer Hagel, a fifth-grader, played the pizza game, which taught students about fractions. His mother, Paulette, said she liked the Quizdom game in the gym and her son had a lot of fun with it.

“He was racing his cousin,” she said.

After the games were played, the school had a drawing for EWU T-shirts, dominoes, a free pizza, and games such as Monopoly, Life, Uno Attack and more.

It was a fun evening for the kids and their parents, who got a chance to mingle with other parents and spend time with their kids. “We want to bring it home to kids,” Aucutt said.

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