**Clips from local newspapers and school websites: **

**EdSource...
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*“Interviews by EdSource with educators at several school districts suggests that a growing number of elementary schools are hosting events like math festivals for students and families to convey the message that math is fun and can be practiced every day in simple ways in their own lives, not just in the classroom.”*

**Jewish Academy, San Diego...
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*“Numbers, computation, and puzzling minds galore! Once in a while, we need a reminder that math is mesmerizing, fascinating, and fun. That’s what this year’s math festival was all about. Students and faculty participated during the day by working on a host of challenging activities. Brows furrowed with concentration, fists were pumping, and cheers of, “We did it!” occurred repeatedly throughout the day. In the evening, parents modeled perseverance and problem solving as they worked on challenges together with their children. Remember… everyone is a math person with a math brain!”*

*South Pasadenan...*

*“**There was a lot of talk about patterns, X, Y and Z’s, and the use of cubes this week at Marengo Elementary School. Students smiled proudly when they successfully discovered solutions to tasks in front of them, working through a series of algebra problems during the California Math Festival on campus. *

*About a dozen different activity stations were set up inside the school’s auditorium, providing youngsters of all ages an opportunity to work on a series of algebra problems At one station, students gathered in pairs to build algebraic function patterns out of cubes, while at another they were asked to solve simultaneous equations with two unknowns using beans. *

*Students work together in pairs to build algebraic function patterns out of cubes, while at another station, students solve simultaneous equations with two unknowns using beans. Some made it look easy, throwing their hands in air, celebrating their achievement of solving the X’s and Y’s and all the rest. It’s all about working through challenging hands-on problem solving. Each station offered assignments easy for newcomers to Algebra and difficult enough to challenge the school’s top students.”*

**Livermore Valley Independent...**

*“When students feel that learning math is fun, they approach each lesson and activity with confidence,” said Kristi Barcelona, Special Day Class (SDC) teacher. “The purpose of the math festival is to give students a wonderful way to celebrate math learning. There are 14 activities stations that each meet the needs of a wide range of learners with different-leveled problems. Students, ranging from Transitional Kindergarten through fifth grade, cycled through stations that provided hands-on learning experiences involving manipulatives like tiles, rods and cubes.”*

*Leanna Baker, a presenter with the California Math Festival Program, said, “Students work with partners to read the tasks and problem solve together. Partner work gives students opportunities to share their thinking, which provides chances for different strategies to be used to solve problems. Manipulatives allow students to build, arrange and plan their strategy to solve the problems presented to them. The tasks at each station begin with problems that are easier to access, and work their way up to problems that are ever more challenging.”*

* “In the evening families worked with their students to solve problems using manipulatives to help each other work their way through various levels of problems,” Baker said. “The California Math Festival Program brings hands-on math activities with engaging problems to schools from kindergarten through eighth grade. We hope that other schools in the district might be interested in hosting their own math festival.”*

**East Bay Times...**

*Recently held at Carmen Dragon elementary, the math festival provided an array of geometry activities sponsored by the California Math Festival Program, the daylong program turned math into fun bits of learning. “I heard one student tell another, ‘Hey, I’m doing geometry all by myself without my parents,’ ” Mr. Bergerhouse, the principal, said. “My goal was to create excitement in students toward mathematics and geometry. I also wanted to involve family, and was very impressed with the turn out.”*

**Delano Now...
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*“Students** worked in pairs with support from their teachers and student volunteers from the Pond Elementary Student Leadership class. The focus for the day was Geometry. Students worked on puzzles, shapes, Tangrams, line segments, and other geometric games and puzzles. Students challenged one another to solve the puzzles and applied their learning in geometry to help each other. At the evening event parents worked with their children and were impressed how even kindergarten students could solve the challenging activities. **One parent asked, “When will we have another event like this one?””*

**Cloverdale Reveille News...
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*“As** a former teacher, I’d say it’s not hard to get kids excited about math; it’s what you present to them. Every single Math Festival table is problem solving, honest, good mathematics not play, but every single activity is hands on. There is something for everybody. It’s really about what you put in front of kids. We all need to know how to compute—there is no doubt about that—but we do need to present activities to kids that are also challenging and intriguing and fun to do.”*

**Island News, Craig, Alaska...**

*The Math Festival is a way that schools can show students just how important mathematics is and not something to be afraid of, but something to enjoy and marvel at. The students walk away from the Festival thinking that mathematics is fun and interesting. The Math Festival does a superb job of getting students excited about this very important subject and helps them see the value of mathematics in their lives.*

**The Escalon Times...**

*There was plenty of learning by doing recently on the rural elementary campuses of Collegeville and Farmington, as both schools had all day Math Festivals—a new way to celebrate mathematics—in a hands-on, interactive learning experience for local elementary students. The best part of the Festival was students having fun the whole time they were learning and seeing math in a different light.*

**Napa Valley News...**

*When adults think back to their days in algebra class, a party isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. But celebrating algebra and other tough subjects was part of the fun at a Math Festival held this week at Napa’s Vichy Alternative Elementary School. Vichy math teacher Kathy DeBernardi said, “It’s fun to see the enthusiasm from the students. The Math Festival is hands-on, and away from the lecture and reading methods. It’s about seeing math from a different side, and is meant to change kids’ mindsets.”*

**Tehama County Red Bluff Daily News...**

*Three schools, Berrendos, Antelope and Bend, brought all of their students together to practice algebra concepts—and there was no moaning or complaining involved. The Math Festival Program sets up more than a dozen math stations touching on different math concepts using blocks, beans, and magic markers. Students work with a partner and can choose tasks with different levels of difficulty. Superintendent and principal Emily Houck said, "It sends a message to kids that they can do math. This isn't just for the math kids; every single student participates. In some sessions, kindergartners worked with eighth graders on problems."*

**California School for the Deaf, Fremont...**

*All day and into the night, students, families, staff, teachers, counselors, administrators, and community volunteers got together in the gym to celebrate math. That's right, celebrate! Through this exciting, school-wide event, all the participating members of our community were exposed to positive, exploratory hands-on math related to geometry and math literature. By the end of the day, there were still a few problems that no one could solve! The activities were not only fun for the students; the adults who were there had a great time while also being exposed to critical math topics that fit into our CA Math Standards. Curious minds were everywhere. It was inspiring to see our elementary students getting into deep discussions regarding formulas and finding the area of 3-D shapes. Students were empowered to choose which math activities they wanted to do. Parents and guardians also had the opportunity to experience what their children were learning in school, and all got a chance to share in the power of a whole community learning math together.*

**Redding Record Searchlight...**

*Eighth-grader Jon Momsen raced through the Shasta Lake School gymnasium Tuesday, trying to keep up with kindergartners as they went from scales to clocks to calendars during the school’s Math Festival. “It’s fun. It’s good. It’s part of science.” he said. Paul Giganti, a retired math educator from UC Berkeley, presented the Math Festival program. “We want kids to experience problem solving and math in an entirely different way." The Math Festival emphasizes hands-on learning and problem solving. Dave Bush, a retired Shasta College math instructor who has four grandchildren at Shasta Lake School, volunteered at the event. “This is a terrific idea.” he said. Bush liked the way the materials could be adapted to children of all ages, and that there were different ways of reaching a solution. “Kids need practice doing things where they have to think it through.”*

**Sonoma Valley Sun...**

*Students. teachers and parents had fun with numbers last Friday as Prestwood Elementary School brought the popular Math Festival Program to its school. “This event puts math right in the students' hands and makes learning easy and joyful.” said Beth Wolk, principal. “One of the best things about this program is that students don't even realize they're learning math.” said Suzanne Heiser, Prestwood fourth grade teacher. “They're having fun and they're learning—things that are both enormously important to us as educators. The Math Festival helps kids practice what they've learned in the classroom. It's also a good experience for the parent volunteers because they get a refresher course on skills that might be rusty. The whole thing gets kids excited and helps them see beyond just basic math facts. It facilitates learning in a way that books and white boards don't. This shines through in the way that the students respond. It's truly been great!”*

**The Independent, Livermore...**

*Arroyo Seco Elementary held its first-ever Math Festival. The day-long Math Festival took place with all of the school's 620 TK through 5th grade students participating. "Each math station provided an opportunity for students to try out different tasks at different levels." said 3rd-grade teacher Connie Ormand. "Everyone was engaged and challenged. The students kept saying 'Awwww!' when we told them it was time to stop so we could get ready for the next group. They didn't want to stop doing math." That evening, the Math Festival concluded with a Family Math Festival, during which students were able to share what they had learned that day with parents, grandparents and siblings of all ages. "I loved seeing the families working together to solve problems that their students were excited about. The Math Festival was a huge success. Seeing the excitement in the room all day was priceless."*

**Town News, Los Gatos...**

*The Math Festival uses hands-on exercises to teach kids how to solve problems that are both simple and difficult. It works by encouraging kids to start low and build their way up. There were 14 levels of problems and students worked in pairs to solve more difficult problems than they would ordinarily do on their own. A Math Festival is a great place to challenge yourself. If students are excited about math, they’re willing to persevere as it gets more difficult. “The family is an important component of what we do because of their role in keeping math exciting and interesting for students.” Giganti, Math Festival Program Director, said. “So the real purpose is to get kids excited about math. I’ve heard from many schools that the kids stay excited about math for months afterward.” Math coach, Jana Morse, said, “This kind of math invites old and young to figure it out because the answers aren’t apparent.”*

**Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Kirsten Bohl, Project Lead, National Math Festival...**

*"This is a wonderful program -- MSRI has collaborated a few different times with Paul Giganti in recent years. This April, he brought his Hands-On Geometry Festival to the National Math Festival in Washington, DC. A Math Festival takes over a school cafeteria. At each table are 12+ different entry points to the same problem theme. These are not run-of-the-mill problems. Think: calculators with only 3 buttons, or geometry games with mirrors. Each station lets you start anywhere according to your level of difficulty. Then as you enjoy and solve the problem, you keep moving around the table...doing harder versions till you decide you've had enough. Then it's on to the next table. Math Festival sessions actually work best with mixed grades. The older kids naturally help the younger ones. In addition, the program also hosts a Parents/Family Night the same evening. Kids enthusiastically drag their parents back to have fun as well!"*