By Sravani Kumar, City Year AmeriCorps Member on the McDonough Elementary School Team
Of all the subjects that I find students relaying their dislike for most, math certainly tops the list. In my few months here, I’ve already heard every variation of, “It’s so boring!” or, “Why do we even have to learn this?” too many times to count. But part of our job at City Year is to make the “boring” things fun! And I don’t think there is any better way to show students how math can be fun and interesting than with a Monster Math Night.
Monsters and children alike had smiles on their faces as they made their way around the McDonough gym. With cute monsters everywhere, and an array of math games that even the most obstinate child would find fun, Monster Math Night was a graveyard smash. The event not only allowed students to see how math is used in everyday life, but it also showed students that there are always ways to make things fun. The weeks of preparation by my team had fully paid off.
On one side of the gym there were students dancing to Monster Mash, a game where each place value had a dance move and students danced to the numbers. There was a Monster Factory where students built monsters by buying body parts and figuring out how many parts they could buy with the money they had. Using fractions, students built monster recipes to make monster-rific desserts. Monster Kaboom got the competition running as students competed to see who could answer math facts faster. Monster Math Mad Libs allowed students to create and solve their own word problems. And a classic party game got a monster twist as students played Pin the Eyeball on the Math Monster. My team and I had our creative juices flowing, and each monster themed math game was a hit with the students.
This was of course not by chance. Each and every member of our team worked hard for the weeks leading up to the event. With direction from our team’s Math Coordinator, Allen Magnusson, we were on task and focused. Synergy was in the air and everyone was in full collaboration with each other. This was the first major event that our team put together and I think it only reinforced what we already knew—that our team is and was successful because of our teamwork, hard work, and the sincerity in the work we do for our students.