Kids get jump start on math
Published 10:34 pm Monday, November 14, 2016
Fifth-graders at Creekside Elementary School got a jump-start on math Monday thanks to five Suffolk auto dealers and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Students filled the gymnasium with organized chaos as they took part in activities designed to reinforce math concepts and get the students up and moving at the same time.
“It’s fun seeing them having fun and being active while at the same time reviewing math concepts,” Assistant Principal Bob Brennan said, overlooking the eight stations spread around the gym. “I can tell they’re really doing it. Everybody is engaged.”
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In one corner of the gym, students played a modified version of Twister, placing their hands and feet on the correct shapes and angles when called out by the spinner.
At another station, students tossed beanbags at a basket and graphed how many made it in. At another, students rolled dice, did a math problem with the numbers they got and then did the stretch or yoga pose that lined up with the answer on a card.
Equivalent fractions, elapsed time, place values, money sense and more were all also reviewed with games like bowling, a relay race and more.
Elaina Trafny, education coordinator for the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth, developed the program for third- through fifth-graders with the help of Portsmouth teachers. Since then, it has been in high demand across the state and getting more popular.
“Our mission is to get kids up and moving in the classroom,” she said. The math concepts change by grade level, but the physical activity stays the same.
Jenna Powder, a fifth-grade teacher at Creekside Elementary School, said the students seemed to be enjoying the activities, and it is good for them to review math concepts in a different way.
“They’re up and moving, and they’re still learning,” she said. “Refreshing it and keeping it in their mind is really good.”
Suffolk’s auto dealers got involved through Mike Duman, an auto dealership owner who is also on the board of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Duman thought it would be a good project for his fellow auto dealers to sponsor, so he got one of his fellow directors, Carl Farris, involved. Farris called the other auto dealers to enlist their support.
Barton Ford Suffolk, Duke Automotive, First Team Subaru, Mike Duman Auto Sales and Starr Motors all supported the program, and each had a representative on hand at Creekside Monday.
“I was excited when I saw it,” Duman said. “Anytime you can get kids to enjoy learning, that’s got to be exciting.”
The program will take place at most Suffolk elementary schools in the near future.