Family Math Nights

Hosting a Family Math Night at your school is an opportunity to build and strengthen positive relationships among home, school and community. It’s an opportunity to see how math is an inclusive, playful, engaging and accessible endeavour.

A great example of this can be seen in our collaboration with the Rainy River District School Board (RRDSB) and the First Nation communities it serves. 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, tangram clan animals, wigwam construction, exploring number patterns through Metis jigging – that raise awareness to geometry and measurement concepts in local cultural practices. School board numeracy facilitators and the OISE team also offered activities that reflect current spatial thinking research.

Activities that celebrate math and family!

Tangram Clan Animals

Tangram Clan Animals

Use tangram manipulative pieces to complete a puzzle that creates an image of a clan animal.
Ojibwe Probability Stick Game

Ojibwe Probability Stick Game

Learn about probability by guessing how many sticks will remain upright when dropped.
Code Breakers: Ojibwe Syllabics

Code Breakers: Ojibwe Syllabics

Learn code while using directional language to create Ojibwe syllabics that spell a secret Ojibwe word!
Mapping community landmarks and using code to navigate the community

Mapping community landmarks and using code to navigate the community

Students map their community on a grid and create code to navigate their way to landmarks
Geometry Creature Corner

Geometry Creature Corner

Students use unifix cubes to create creatures and draw the different perspectives
Hole-Punch Symmetry

Hole-Punch Symmetry

Students visualize how paper that has been folded and hole-punched will look when the paper is unfolded.
Beading and Graphing

Beading and Graphing

Be creative with beads then create a bar graph corresponding to the colours of your beads.
Cookie Sheet Symmetry

Cookie Sheet Symmetry

Create symmetrical designs on a cookie sheet with magnetic pattern blocks. Play on your own or with a partner!
Draw a Card and Build

Draw a Card and Build

Students take turns to drawing a number card and building a corresponding unifix tower to see whose tower is taller.
Frameworks

Frameworks

Visualize and then build 3D structures with frameworks. Structures can be labeled and displayed for all to see!
Roll & Build Bingo

Roll & Build Bingo

Students take turns to tossing two dice and building a corresponding unifix tower to see who can complete a bingo first.
Unifix Counting Towers

Unifix Counting Towers

In this activity, child works one-on-one with an educator to create a staircase of Unifix Towers representing 1 to 10.
Mandala

Mandala

Students design and construct a Mandala, while learning about its rich history, to develop numeric pattern skills

Watch math come to life at Family Math Nights held with our partners!

Aroland First Nation at Johnny Therriault School

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 the following article: Creating a Student-Led Multicultural Math Night to Draw Crowds.

The article provides insight on how Bev and Grace worked with teachers and students at Flemington Public School to  design a student-led Family Math Night for the community. There are outlines for activities, an overview of the important roles that school community members should play, and a timeline for how you may want to plan and implement a Family Math Night in your school community.

Click on the image to view the publication and see page 167 for the family math night article. If you are interested in viewing the entire publication, please click here.

Deepening Inclusive and Community Engaged Education
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. <https://wordpress.oise.utoronto.ca/robertson/family-math-nights>.