Franklin Park School Holds Annual ‘Family Math Night’

Students work on a clue in a Room Escape exercise under the supervision of a teacher.

More than 100 Franklin Park School students and parents gathered at the school the evening of Jan. 24 for the school’s annual Family Math Night.

The night is “an opportunity for the families to come and enjoy math with their kids and really get to see how the children learn math in school,” said school principal Purvi Shah. “It’s good for them to see, hands-on, how they learn math with manipulatives and games.”

“It’s always nice to have all the families out with the kids,” she said.

This year’s event featured a different theme than the carnival of years’ past, said Kim O’Brien, the school’s math coach and event coordinator.

“We usually have a carnival night, but I wanted to switch it up, so a popular event out there, even for adults, is escape the room,” she said. “So I did some research, and there are some companies that have developed escape the rooms for classrooms.”

“It took extra time, work, energy, a lot of participation to get it going, so since we got it going this year, we’ll just keep that theme for the next couple of years, if it’s successful,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll get some feedback from parents and students to improve the whole event.”

In the room escapes, students working  in teams had to solve puzzles to get combinations for lock boxes with more clues. The students worked under a time limit, adding to the tension.

“That’s what I really liked about escape the classroom because it’s really about working as a team, and that’s all about what we do,” O’Brien said.

While the room escapes were held in classrooms, other events were set in teh school’s gym. The gym was divided in half, one for grades Pre-K to 2 and other for grades 3 to 5.

Students were given a variety of activities to participate in.

“Such games as multi-pong, where you throw a golf ball into a cup and multiply the two numbers, fly a paper airplane according to length, a variety of different things,” O’Brien said. “We wanted to be hands-on, addressing all the mathematical practices and everything they’re learning in school.”

“It’s a big event for me and I look forward to it every year,” she said.

The event is sponsored by the school’s PTO, which supplies money for basic items such as decorations.

PTO president Montese Anderson said that Mathnasium also donated some money for the event.

“It’s always a great turnout,” Anderson said of the event. “Kim O’Brien comes up with different ways to make it fun, and it’s exciting.”

Here are some scenes from the evening:


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