The University of Georgia Math and Parent Partnership program took place at four Title I elementary schools in Griffin, GA. Our project included classroom teachers who enjoyed learning along with the parents in the two mini-courses we offered. Parents, teachers, and children alike learned how to use tangrams to understand fractions, and they took the MAPPS activities back to their homes and classrooms for more practice. After having struggled with fractions throughout the year, one 2nd grade student announced, “Oh, I got it. I got it now!” as she shifted the tangram pieces. She could explain her understanding as well. She realized that the smaller triangle was half the size of the larger triangle. Furthermore, she could also recognize the fractional relationship between the trapezoid and hexagon with pattern blocks.
We are finding that MAPPS empowered parents to work with their children on math homework instead of sending them off to their rooms to complete it alone. Also, the parents and teachers in MAPPS formed close-knit learning communities. By the end of the second mini-course, they didn’t want it to end! We held graduation ceremonies at each school, and every participant received a certificate for participating. We look forward to expanding to neighboring school districts in the 2009-2010 school year.
Andrea Knapp, Ph.D.
Mathematics and Science Education
University of Georgia Griffin Campus