Graham Bell-Victoria Public School Parents Take a Seat at their Children’s Desks

Students and parents use math manipulatives during a workshopMathematics can be a tricky subject, and when parents don’t recognize the same lessons they learned in school, supporting their kids learning can be challenging.

This year, Graham Bell-Victoria Public School has been part of a Queen’s University and Ministry of Education initiative to build parent engagement within the school. This is the second year that the school is involved in implementing Ontario’s Renewed Mathematics Strategy, and increasing parent engagement is a key component of that strategy. A timely event in late May provided the perfect opportunity to bring together parent involvement in the Renewed Mathematics Strategy in a novel way.

“Everyone benefits from a refresher, so we hosted a workshop for parents and guardians to learn more about how math is taught,” said John Poulimenos, principal at Graham-Bell-Victoria. “The workshop presented lessons in the same way they are taught to students.”

Led by guest speaker Lynda Colgan, Associate Professor of Education at Queen’s University, the workshop touched on topics such as assisting students with math homework, and why lessons covering “the basics” – topics such as addition, subtraction, long division and fractions – look so much different than they did when parents were students. Understanding why anchor numbers, place value, and flexibility with numbers matter, and how they contribute to today’s mastery of basic skills were also a key part of the presentation.

The fun, helpful event ties into Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, which includes Achievement and Community as two of its key pillars, increasing understanding of effective instruction and assessment in numeracy, while encouraging and supporting family involvement in schools and learning at home.

“The Renewed Math Strategy is about working together with students and parents to ensure success,” said Poulimenos. “Providing resources for parents, and the chance to literally learn the same way their children are learning, can be a tremendous asset.”

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