Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mathematical Games

I found this article in a Rochester, New Hampshire School Newsletter and thought it was worth sharing. Games are great learning experiences.

Want to Help Build Your Child’s Mathematical Thinking? Play a Game!       by Mary Moriarty

Did you ever spend a summer afternoon or cold winter night playing round after round of Crazy Eights or Sorry!® or take pleasure in making one’s sibling say the dreaded words, “You sank my battleship!”? You were probably having fun playing these games, (unless it was your battleship being sunk), but what you probably didn’t know is that you were actually improving your mathematical thinking.

 In 2007, Geetha B. Ramani and Robert Siegler of Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study of preschool students enrolled in Head Start to see what the impact of playing linear board games (such as Chutes & Ladders®) would have on “enhancing young children’s numerical knowledge”. They concluded that “playing such a game for roughly one hour (spread out over four fifteen to twenty minute sessions) increased (the preschoolers) proficiency on four diverse numerical tasks: numerical magnitude (how much a number is worth) comparison (is 4 less than or more than 5), number line estimation (on a number line from 1 – 10, where would 5 go), counting (1, 2, 3….), and numeral identification (the symbol 3 represents what number). The gains remained nine weeks later.” (Ramani, Siegler, 2007)

 It doesn’t stop with Chutes and Ladders®, such games as Jenga® and Guess Who?® help children to develop their mathematical thinking as it re-lates to strategy, spacial perceptions, attributes, patterns and/or geometry. The benefits of playing these games, extends beyond the mathematics, and opens the door to a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about: turn taking, being a good sport, interacting with others, understanding and following directions and having fun with-out the television or computer being on!

Consider setting aside one night a week to have Family Game Night. You will not only help build your child’s mathe-matical knowledge, but are sure to create some lasting family memories!

Commercial Games that Use Mathematics

Counting, Adding, and Subtracting

Chutes and Ladders® (3+)

Hi-Ho! Cherry-O® (3+)

Sorry!® (6+)

Trouble® (5+)

Uno® (6+)

Attributes, Patterns, and Geometry

Crazy Eights - traditional card game (4+) Guess Who?® (6+)

Guess Where?® (6+)

Jigsaw puzzles

Rummikub® (8+)

Tangrams (5+)

Strategy and Spacial Perception

The a-MAZE-ing Labyrinth® (8+) 

Fairview Elementary News February 1, 2010

Fairview News

February 1, 2010

Nancy Beck, Principal


We are hoping to have regular school days and weeks now!  It’s already been a long winter.  Our last day of school is now June 1, 2010.  We will make up snow days on April 16, May 27, May 28, and June 1.  Keep sending winter clothing for students, including warm coats, snowpants, gloves, and boots.  The students love to play in the snow!

                                  Perfect Attendance

We had 22 students receive perfect attendance certificates for the first semester!  Congratulations to all of those students.  It ‘s quite an accomplishment to be here every day for the entire first semester.

                                             Fairview Book Series Hall of Fame

The Fairview Elementary Media Center is a very busy place, with almost 10,000 books checked out so far during the 2009-2010 school year.  Circulation shows a 50% increase from last year.  Students, preschool through second grade, come to the library to browse for books, check out books, participate in special events and promotions, listen to stories and learn library skills.  Currently students are encouraged to check out and “pop” open a good book through a popcorn event.  Students are also recognized with their picture displayed as part of the “Fairview Series Hall of Fame” when they read book series, such as Junie B. Jones, Froggie, or Henry and Mudge. 

The Fairview computer lab is adjacent to the media center and teachers are often in the computer lab with their students.  The Grinnell School District purchased new computers for the computer lab at the beginning of this school year and the Fairview Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) has recently funded the purchase of KidPix, a computer program popular with students and teachers.  Teachers also have their students use educational internet sites when in the computer lab.

Kindergarten Pre-Registration for 2010-2011

will be held at Fairview School located at 1310 Hobart Street

March 3 from 11:00 am - 5:30 pm


A child who will be 5 years old, on or before September 15, 2010, is eligible and invited to attend kindergarten.


Parents are asked to bring the child’s immunization record, along with the birth certificate issued at the county/state level.  The school cannot recognize the certificate from the hospital.  Should parents not have a birth certificate, and if the child was born in Iowa, one can be obtained from:  Division of Records and Statistics, Lucas State Office Building, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075.  Typically the Court House of the county where the child was born has information about the certificate.  Please register the child even if the birth certificate is not currently available.


Generally speaking, students attend Bailey Park if they live west of Highway 146 and those who live east of Highway 146 attend Fairview.  However, the aim is to have equal class sizes, so usually there are some exceptions to this general arrangement.


Information about kindergarten and other school programs will be distributed at registration.  We ask that parents not request teachers for their children.  If a child has a specific need please notify the school in writing of that concern.


There will be a district-wide registration this summer for all parents of students attending Grinnell schools.  It is important to attend or submit information at that registration process also. 

Please contact Fairview Elementary with questions (236-2780).
                                                   Preschool Registration
Registration for the Grinnell-Newburg Preschool will be held on Saturday, March 6, 10 am, in the Fairview gym.  Please enter through the front office door.  Names will be taken on a first come, first served basis.  Please contact Fairview Elementary with questions. (236-2780)


Upcoming Events:

February 3            Noon dismissal, professional development for teachers

February 10            School board

March 3            Noon dismissal, professional development for teachers

                        Kindergarten Pre-registration, 11 am – 5:30 pm

March 6            Preschool Registration, 10 am

March 24,25,26            Parent – Teacher conferences, no school for K-8 on March 26,

                                    Noon dismissal on March 24


Administrator's Bootcamp, February 2, 2010

We're practicing our tech skills.  Check out Scott McLeod's NEA presentation.