Making Math Easy as PIE When it comes to honing math skills, extra practice at home can really make a difference. Luckily for the families of Indianapolis Public Schools, our Parent Involvement Educators (PIEs) are equipped with the tools to help make math fun for all!

“One of my favorite workshops that I do with math is Muffins for Mom and Munchie Math Too,” said Francis Scott Key School 103 PIE Connie Chew. “It is geared for K – 2nd grade. We play Edible Numerals, where we give each student pull-n-peel licorice strips and have the children form numbers. You can also form simple addition and subtraction problems with the licorice.” Francis Scott Key families learn a lot of snack time math activities to incorporate lessons into everyday activities.

At Nicholson Performing Arts Academy at School 70, families are invited to homework help nights to make the process easier for everyone. Parents and teachers discuss homework expectations and the best ways to ensure everyone is on the same page.

“We then go over what the class is learning and the textbook book they use, ‘Math Expressions,’” said Nicholson Performing Arts PIE Penny Guthrie. “We meet in the computer lab so we can explain to parents how to get online to the ‘Math Expressions’ website geared to helping parents with the specific standards being taught.”

Helping an older child to focus on math can sometimes be difficult. Wendell Phillips School 63 PIE Elda Peña suggests the following shopping trip activities to boost interest in math:

  • Change percentages to fractions on sale items
  • Ask how much are they saving and if it is a good deal or not
  • Let them know how much is going to be spent and to keep count of prices on items in the shopping cart until they reach their spending amount

“Many of us spend so much time transporting our scholars to various activities,” said Francis W. Parker School 56 PIE Maria Wright, “and this is a time when a parent has a captive audience. I suggest to parents that they use this time to go over basic math facts orally, practice prediction by looking at the clock and guessing what time you will arrive or how many miles you have driven. For younger children, count blue cars, big trucks, etc.”

Sometimes it’s hard to beat using sweets as an incentive, and it works for Angela Knight at Raymond F. Brandes School 65.

“One of our favorite math activities to do here and have families take home is M&M math,” Knight said. “Each family will receive a zip lock bag of M&M’s and a packet of activities to use the M&M’s with. These math activities include estimating, graphing and making a pattern.”

If your student could use some fresh new ways to make math enjoyable, don’t hesitate to reach out to your PIE. They’re ready to share their best ideas with you, and we appreciate all of the hard work they put in to help our families every day!