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Families bond at Math Family Game Night in Shorewood

With freezing temperatures outside, Troy Cronin School kept families from the cold with Math Family Game Night on Feb. 1.

The school held the annual event throughout the building with dice and card games, board games and Bingo.

Math Family Game Night is meant to build community within the school, provide an opportunity for some leadership, instill a love of math and help people to recognize that math is more than solving problems with pencil and paper.

“There’s so many pieces to math,” Principal Jill Howard said. “It involves games, dice, thinking and all those kind of things.”

Plainfield’s Stacey Werbach, joined by her 7-year-old son, David, was motivated to come out for Math Family Game Night.

“It’s a good opportunity for him,” she said. “It’s fun for us. To me, it’s all meant for us to spend time with him in the school. It’s important to be part of the school.”

Stacey said David loves math.

“He picked it up on his own,” she said, negating the idea that her interest in the subject inspired her son’s love of math.

The event was neither a first for Stacey, nor her son.

“The turnout is always pretty good for the events,” Stacey said.

The games were fun for many of those on hand, though not always easy.

Consider Quirkle, during which Stacey and her son hoped to mix, match, score and win.

“I don’t know how to win, to be honest,” Stacey said.

Still, Stacey said they were enjoying their evening.

From Candyland and Trouble to Chutes and Ladders and Hi Ho Cherry O, there was a plethora of board games for families to play in the cafeteria.

There, an estimation jar full of Legos was also set up for people to try their hand at guessing how many items are inside.

Meanwhile, in the iLab, families had an opportunity to enjoy math technology activities. There were two different versions of games, with one applicable to the Chromeboxes and another through the Osmos, which involves the iPads and cameras.

“Every year, we change it up a little bit,” Howard said, referring to the activities. “This year, we added technology, which is new.”

Howard said with this addition to the event, they are focused on how to build technology into literacy and numeracy.

“I don’t think that we, at Troy [Cronin,] see technology as its own entity,” she said. “We see it as a part of teaching and learning in all of the other areas.”

In addition to Math Family Game Night, Troy Cronin School hosts a literacy night every year for families to enjoy. There, administrators and staff pride themselves on providing opportunities to engage the community both inside and outside the classroom setting.

“Those are the two core areas everyone needs to walk away from being strong when they’re leaving the elementary setting,” Howard said. “We focus very heavily on how do we support literacy in school, numeracy in school, and then both of those things outside of school, as well.”

Tony Rapata, also of Plainfield, was seated alongside his 6-year-old son, Vincent, waiting for the start of a game of Bingo.

“It’s pretty fun, actually, being around people, friends playing games,” he said. “It’s like being at home.”

Earlier in the evening, Tony and his son had visited in the art room to find that it was set up for people to try their hand at origami.

“[Vincent] made a Samurai hat,” Tony said. “It’s pretty challenging.”

Tony said Vincent and his 9-year-old daughter, Xierra, are really good at math, which is puzzling to him.

“I don’t know where they get it from,” he said.

Vincent said he gets it from himself.

Tony had never previously attended Math Family Game Night at the school.

“[I’d come back,] especially since all the board games are really fun,” Tony said.

Elsewhere, in the preschool hall, families tried their hand at games involving sorting, matching, shapes, patterns and counting.

The event came to a close with a few rounds of Bingo in the cafeteria.

Prizes were awarded to winners of each game of Bingo, and a box of Legos was offered to the individual who tried their hand at guessing how many items filled the estimation jar.

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