Family Math Nights

A collaboration of First Nation communities, schools and university

Hosting a Family Math Night at your school is an opportunity to build and strengthen positive relationships among home, school and community. Not only that, children of all ages get a chance to see math as an inclusive, playful, engaging and accessible endeavour.

A great example of this can be seen in our recent collaboration with the Rainy River District School Board (RRDSB) schools and the First Nation communites they serve.  Family Math Nights were designed collaboratively with indigenous instructional leaders, First Nation educational counsellors, school board numeracy facilitators and the Robertson Program/Jackman ICS/OISE team. 

First Nation community members and RRDSB educators developed activities  – such as canoe symmetry, creating tangram clan animals, wigwam construction, exploring number patterns through Metis jigging – that raise awareness of concepts of geometry and measurement embedded in local cultural practices. As well, school board numeracy facitlitators and OISE team offered activities that reflect current research in spatial thinking – a strong predictor of overall math achievement.

This deeply collaborative and respectful approach to planning Family Math nights – designed under the leadership of First Nation communities in collaboration with the school board – highlights a model of success being used across the RRDSB.

How to cite this page:
Caswell, B., Moss, J., MacKinnon, S., Jones, J., Gibson, J., Kabatay, T., Jones, S., Hawes, Z. & Pedersen, Z. Hosting a Family Math Night The Robertson Program for Inquiry-based Teaching in Mathematics and Science. 21 July. 2015. < >.

Watch math come to life in these videos of Family Math Nights with our partners at the Rainy River District School Board, Seine River First Nation, Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation and Naicatchewenin First Nation.

Naicatchewenin First Nation at Crossroads Public School

Seine River First Nation and Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation  at Mine Centre Public School

Couchiching First Nation

Learn more about family math nights

This is OISE’s Inclusive Schools project document, Deepening Inclusive and Community-Engaged Education in Three Schools: A Teacher’s Resource.

Dr. Bev Caswell, along with Grace LaRocque, contributed to the resource: Creating a Student-Led Multicultural Math Night to Draw Crowds. 

The article provides insight on how the Robertson team designed a series of Family Math Nights with the Toronto District School Board. There are outlines for activities, an overview of the important roles school community members should play, and a timeline for how you may want to plan and execute your Family Math Night.

Click on the image to view the article.
If you are interested in viewing the entire publication, please click here.

Deepening Inclusive and Community Engaged Education