Education column: Yucca family night makes math fun

By Penny Bailey: Clovis Municipal Schools

Have you ever had a fun filled evening doing math? Well, until the other night, I would have answered this question with a big no.

So, what happened? It was Family Math Night at Yucca.

I entered the halls of Yucca with great hesitation as math was never my strong subject. I was sure everyone there would discover my secret. But, much to my surprise, the games were so much fun, I actually forgot it was all about math.

For instance, did you know if you add a little gelatin to bubbles you can get them to rest on the table?

And why would I do that? Well, to see if I created the largest bubble, of course.

It had the appearance of only half a bubble, and we were able to measure the circumference with string, and then measure the string with a ruler. The winner had the largest average of five bubbles, and I must confess, the kids beat me. Guess I’ve lost my knack for blowing bubbles.

So, with that loss, I moved to a board game called ‘Spiders and Ants’.

I don’t like insects, but this was like a game show where we spun the wheel and either added or subtracted pretend spider and ant legs. By the end of the game, I didn’t end up with the most spider or ant legs, and that was OK with me.

The next room had a bigger challenge. There in front of me was a protractor, and I knew I was in trouble.

But, yet again, it ended up being a fun game of dropping bottle caps on a piece of paper with numbers. I simply had to draw an angle with my protractor, and the first person to draw a complete triangle won.

OK so I didn’t win this one either, but again I didn’t care because I was having so much fun.

By now, I moved with confidence to the next room, which was about equations.

My new found confidence was quickly erased, as I could not grasp the game until I watched it a couple of times. Fortunately, this was a fast moving game and once I caught the concept, I wanted to keep playing. But, all good things must come to an end, and it was time to go home.

I could not believe how much fun I had at a Family Math Night.

The Math Club, students, parents and staff of Yucca did such an outstanding job that before I left, I asked if I could attend their next Family Math Night. They said they would have another one this spring, and I will be invited. So, if you don’t believe Math can be fun, you need to plan to attend and see for yourself.