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Explorations in Math: Helping Elementary Students Succeed in Math


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Reflections of Family Math Night at the New School
Alia Bash, Kindergarten Student

"Math makes me feel happy. I like math because you get to work with numbers."

Alia Bash, Kindergarten Student

Althea Glass, Parent of twin daughters in fourth grade

"Explorations in Math gets (kids) excited about math and we have to keep them excited about math. When I was growing up, I just put up a big block up and didn't want to do anything with math...as long as you introduce them to all these different ways to learn math, that is a great opportunity for them."

Althea Glass, Parent of twin daughters in fourth grade

Chantel Anderson, Pre-K Teacher

"Math should be fun. We spend so much time doing worksheets in class and repetitive skills, we get so caught up in the process of the work that we forget to have fun doing it, to enjoy it and put it into real life to see this is just another way math is used."

Chantel Anderson, Pre-K Teacher

EIM Donors Make A Move For Math

Enjoying a round of the math game “Blink” at Make a Move for Math 2009 are (from left) John Jordan, EIM Board Member Rose Boyle, her husband, Mike Boyle, and Laura Welland, all of Seattle. Math games were part of the fun at Make a Move for Math, EIM's second annual fundraiser, held Feb. 7 at Chateau Ste Michelle Winery in Woodinville. The event raised more than $33,000 to support EIM's efforts to build sustainable math culture by inspiring children, teachers, and parents to explore, play with, and enjoy the challenge of math.

Thank you to our generous donors!

Explorations in Math Celebrates 6th Birthday

It all started with four people around a kitchen table talking passionately about how to help children succeed in math.
“My kids needed it so I thought about a tutor but then I realized… not only do my kids need it but their whole class needs it, and their whole school needs it, and all of Seattle needs it!” remembers EIM Board Member and founder Kate Klein.
Board Member and founder Laura Larson recalls the weekly discussions over lunch about how to make the vision a reality.
“It was a very collaborative, and hands-on process from the beginning,” she said.
EIM began in the Lake Washington School District with the PTA sponsoring math and chess programs in two Seattle schools. These programs eventually grew to include bulletin boards, family math nights and a Mathematician-In-Residence program.
“One of the best moments was when we offered math clubs that started at 8:00 am; the kids were happy to wake up early to play math. I thought that was incredible,” Klein said.
EIM was formally founded in February 2003 and became its own 501(c)3 organization in December 2007. Since 2003, EIM has tripled in growth; today, we work with 21 Puget Sound area elementary schools, pursuing our mission to build a sustainable math culture in those communities. In the 07/08 school year, with the generous support of our donors, we served:

  • 1,105 students in 79 math clubs;
  • 4,785 family members at 29 family math nights;
  • 7,764 students with 46 monthly math challenges;
  • 27 teachers with Mathematician in Residence programs; and
  • 360 students in Summer Math Camps.

Klein is thrilled with the growth.

“Anytime EIM gains a new employee, volunteer, donor, or board member, I am thrilled, because it shows that someone else shares our vision and validates that we are on the right track.”

Learn more about EIM's approach to improving attitudes about math.

EIM Partners with Schools to Build Math Culture

EIM is proud to partner with the following schools to build a vital and sustainable math culture for the 08-09 academic year:

  • Adams Elementary
  • Concord Elementary
  • Dearborn Park Elementary
  • Dickinson Elementary
  • Hawthorne Elementary
  • Ilahee Elementary
  • John Muir Elementary
  • The New School @ Columbia
  • ORCA @ Whitworth
  • Redmond Elementary
  • TT Minor Elementary
  • Van Asselt Elementary
  • Zion Preparatory Academy

These schools are integrating into their students' experience a variety of EIM programs, including before- and/or after-school math clubs, a school-wide monthly math challenge, family math nights, summer math clubs, and EIM-supported mathematicians in residence (math coaches).

EIM is proud to provide ongoing support to the following schools to help maintain the vital and sustainable math culture they have worked so hard to build.

  • Beacon Hill International School
  • Coe Elementary
  • Loyal Heights Elementary
  • The Meridian School
  • Wing Luke Elementary

Would your elementary school like help building a sustainable math culture? Contact Mary Cropp at Explorations in Math to find out how.

Teacher Spotlight

Pat Lyon, a veteran teacher who currently leads a fourth grade class at John Muir Elementary in the Rainier Valley, has taught the EIM intermediate math clubs for 3 years. Here are her thoughts on the experience.

“Math Club is FUN! You get to present mathematics in a fun and puzzling way. You have a range of abilities (among kids) in the club but there is always something in the hour everyone can do and enjoy. The EIM curriculum is fun to teach!”

Pat Lyon, 4th grade teacher at John Muir Elementary in the Rainier Valley
Pat Lyon

Scholarships Enable Teachers at EIM Schools to Attend 'Ultimate' Math Conference

Four teachers from EIM schools will attend the ultimate math conference April 22-25 when they fly to Washington DC for the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
The teachers were selected for scholarships after completing an application and submitting a short essay defining their contributions to creating a vibrant math culture in their respective schools.
Elementary school teachers attending the conference on EIM scholarships, made possible by the generous support of our donors, are: John Brannan, Coe Elementary; Nhi Le, John Muir Elementary; Cyndi MacIsaac, Dearborn Park Elementary; and Luke Runnoe, Wing Luke Elementary, all in Seattle.

Brain Teaser

A square brick wall is one row of bricks higher and one column of bricks narrower than another wall. How many more bricks are there in the square wall?

E-mail responses to jenniferga@eimath.org . The first five correct responses will be entered into a drawing for a math game. Check next quarter's EIM Supporter E-News for the answer to this brain teaser and the winner of the math game!

Math Web Resources

Looking for math resources for the elementary-age children in your life? Here are some great Web sites you may find helpful.

  • THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF VISUAL MANIPULATIVES, created by Utah State University, arranges lessons in four sections: Pre-K–2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Within each one are four categories: Numbers & Operations, Algebra, Geometry & Measurement, Data Analysis & Probability.
  • BRAINBOOSTERS This site of math problems and math questions includes some teaching tools, homework helpers, a clip art gallery and puzzlemaker.
  • FACTMONSTER The math section of this site math games from simple counting to fairly complicated fractions. Players choose their own level of difficulty. The math homework section includes numbers and formulas, factors and fractions, measurement and money. Also described are the various branches of mathematics, a history of math, notable mathematicians and quizzes to test student skills.

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EIM is an organization that thrives on feedback from teachers, students, administrators, parents and our supporters. It is the only thing that keeps us growing and evolving as an organization to serve you better. We want to hear from you!
Send your feedback on this newsletter to carolry@eimath.org .
Send other feedback to info@explorationsinmath.org or call us at (206) 325-0774.