WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FAMILY MATHEMATICS FESTIVAL
Your Family Mathematics Festival will expose students and their families to critical mathematics topics in a positive, hands-on, festival-like atmosphere. At your Family Mathematics Festival students of all ages and their parents will work side-by-side doing challenging math problems using everything from beans to balances. Each activity will be challenging, fun, and a great example of what the Common Core Standards are all about!
A Family Mathematics Festival is a truly un-graded and free-access learning event for all ages. For each Family Mathematics Festival we set up 12 to 16 DIFFERENT activity stations for your families. Math Festival activities are designed for all ability-levels from young primary students to adults—everyone can always find activities perfect for them no matter how much mathematics they’ve studied. Babies in strollers all the way up to grandparents are welcome and will enjoy this event.
Your Family Mathematics Festival will accommodate up to a maximum of 200 persons at any given time DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF YOUR FACILITY AND NUMBER OF AVAILABLE TABLES. If you expect larger numbers, please contact the Math Festival Director before confirming your Family Mathematics Festival to discuss possibilities.
Your Math Festival can be wonderful public relations for your school. Invite school board members, your superintendent, teachers and administrators from other schools, and members of your community to visit as well as families. This is also a wonderful opportunity to invite your local press to visit your Festival— newspapers are frequently looking for positive news stories about education in their local schools. Visitors can come at any time during your Family Mathematics Festival.
CHOOSING A TEACHER-LEADER TO ASSIST
❏ It is essential that one certificated staff person, an administrator or teacher-leader, be identified and available for the entire event to assist the Math Festival Presenter. Since your Math Festival presenter is a visitor in your school, this is a legal requirement of the California Education Code.
❏ This designated staff person will need to be present and available from the set up time, during the entire Family Math Festival, and about 45 minutes after the event for clean up.
❏ Ideally, this designated teacher-leader will also be the person to work with the Math Festival Presenter in planning all aspects of your Family Mathematics Festival before your event’s date. Email communication with this individual is key to the success of the planning process. Please identify this person to us ASAP. Don’t worry; there is not that much to plan!
SETTING UP A SCHEDULE FOR YOUR FAMILY MATHEMATICS FESTIVAL
❏ A Family Mathematics Festival can last a maximum of 1.5 hours, not counting set up and clean up. If you would like a Family Mathematics Festival longer than 1.5 hours, we would be happy to schedule one at additional cost. Since a Family Mathematics Festival is a drop-in event, unless there are additional programs planned for the evening, this is a sufficient amount of time to engage families.
❏ The timing or your Family Mathematics Festival is up to your school (within the 1.5 hour maximum). In setting your schedule, it is wise to schedule your Festival late enough for families to have dinner BEFORE attending your event, and yet not too late to infringe on the youngest students’ bed times. However, we realize that different schools will have different criteria for setting the times of their event.
❏ SAMPLE Family Mathematics Festival schedule:
• Setup: 5:00–6:30 pm (minimum of 1.5 hours is required for set up of the Math Festival materials)*
• Family Mathematics Festival Session: 6:30–8:00 pm*
• Packing up: 8:00–9:00 pm (1 hour is required for packing up, and the facility must remain open)*
*During these times, a teacher or administrator on your credentialed staff must be present and available to assist the Math Festival Presenter.
PREPARATION FOR YOUR FAMILY MATHEMATICS FESTIVAL
❏ It’s wise to start publicizing the event as soon as possible to avoid future date conflicts with other school or community events. A planning email will be sent which includes samples of flyers that can be modified with your particular date, information, and schedule; then used to announce your event in advance to your community.
❏ Please make sure you inform parents both through your students or any flyers that they or another adult MUST accompany their children during the festival. Unaccompanied minors can be a problem.
❏ Inform the school custodian about your Family Mathematics Festival AS FAR IN ADVANCE AS POSSIBLE. Please remind him or her again the day before your event so the room and floor are clean and the tables are set up and ready.
❏ If the gym or multi-use room must be used for after-school activities the afternoon of the event, the Festival materials cannot be set up until the students leave, the floors are cleaned, and the tables are up. At that point, we will still need a full hour and a half to set up the Festival materials BEFORE THE FIRST FAMILIES ARRIVE. Once set up, the Festival materials and tables must remain set up for the entire event, since the Festival stations take significant time and energy to set up and/or move.
❏ Your Math Festival presenter will arrive 1.5 hours prior to the start of your Family Mathematics Festival, and will need assistance from at least one teacher or administrator in setting up all of the Math Festival materials.
❏ Your Math Festival presenter is a teacher and very knowledgeable about mathematics, current education issues, and working with parents and families. If you wish your presenter to make some brief comments to families about the importance of mathematics to their children, he or she would be happy to do so. If you wish this to be part of your program, please inform us in advance. The timing of these comments works best if scheduled about mid-way through your Family Mathematics Festival, since families do not all arrive at the very beginning or stay to the very end. If you wish your presenter to talk to parents, please have a PA system and microphone set up in advance and working.
❏ You will need 12 TO 16 typical large double cafeteria tables with seats set up in the gym or multipurpose room, arranged with as much space as possible between tables. The custodian will need to set up the tables BEFORE the arrival of your Math Festival presenter (link to PDF room and table diagram below).
FAMILY MATH FESTIVAL ROOM AND TABLE SET UP
Please use this diagram of a typical cafeteria/multiuse room in setting up tables for your Family Mathematics Festival. If you are using a gym instead, the setup of tables is the same. A standard cafeteria, fold-down double table—or alternately—two 6' X 4' folding tables placed end to end, will be used for EACH Math Festival activity station. We will set up least 12 stations, more if the room allows. 16 Math Festival stations can accommodate up to 200 parents and students, depending on the size of your room. Please have your custodian set up the room with tables that afternoon before your event, so the Festival set-up can begin at least an hour and a half prior to the start of your Family Mathematics Festival.
Please note: NO FOOD OR DRINK AT ANY TIME is allowed in the Math Festival facility! The Math Festival materials do not do well around food and drink. If you wish to have food or refreshments connected with your event, please have the food in a separate room, and plan a strategy for keeping food out of the Math Festival facility. It is possible to offer your families food and refreshments for your event, but please work with the Math Festival Director to plan for this.
If you have any questions about any aspect of planning or hosting a Family Mathematics Festival event at your school, please contact Paul Giganti, Math Festival Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click this link to see a diagram of a typical school facility Math Festival table set up: Family Math Festival Room&TableSetUp