Gathering the Support of

Your School and Community

If you're excited about the prospect of bringing a Math Night Adventure to your school, but you're not sure how to talk to the members of your school community about it, here are some helpful tips for speaking to:

Talking to Your Principal
 

Every principal is different, and some principals may just refer you over to the PTA to organize this event. Some PTAs may want to be present in this meeting (or perhaps you yourself are on the PTA Board). But other principals will want to be much more involved. Perhaps yours will want to make sure that this event will be a great fit for the school and the students, and that it will respect school property and the teachers’ classrooms. If your principal would like to know more about this event, we recommend focusing on the following:

  • The focus of this event is building our school community, making connections within that community, and actually making math fun for our kids and our parents.

  • Event attendees are students from this school who, after this event, will build a more positive emotional connection to math and help overcome any math anxiety they might have.

  • This is a non-competitive, one-evening event, here at the school, and will require use of the entire school.

  • All stations around the school will be staffed by adults, and no children will be unattended at any time. All groups of students will have a coach at all times.

  • The event will require a janitor to help with clean-up, but there will be volunteers to help with general clean-up at the end of the evening.

  • The spaces of the school that will be needed are the gym, cafeteria, library, and four classrooms (or, alternatively, ends of hallways that are remote, or have a bend in the hallway so that they are not easily visible from a main area).

  • You will also need access to a freezer, to store the ice cream for a few hours.​

  • If the principal would like to be even more involved, you can absolutely offer a role! In the past, students have loved having their principal play an acting role in the production – you can take your principal through the scripts, for example, and see if there’s a role that looks interesting

Talking to Your Teachers
 
Ask us how these events can raise money for your school. Our kits provide guidance on this, too!

Historically, we’ve noticed that some teachers can be very protective of their classrooms, and rightly so! Therefore, we try and create kits that can allow events to happen at schools where classrooms may not be available to you. If you do have a school with teachers that are more willing to have their rooms used, all the better. (If you do get a few classrooms to use for your event, we recommend taking a few digital pictures of the room before you use it, to ensure that you have it back to perfect before you leave for the evening, after the event, and ensuring that there is always an adult in the room.)

Either way, we want to help you get teachers engaged with this event, because we know how much they may struggle with getting their students excited about math, and we want to help them, too. So here are some ideas with how to tell them about Math Night.

  • Math Night is an evening event where their students will get to do math puzzles with rewards – it may help them see math as a tool that has real outcomes, and can help the kids overcome the anxiety they sometimes feel in the classroom.

  • Their students will work in teams, at grade level, and the event is non-competitive.

  • If they would like to learn more about the puzzles the kids will be doing, please share some of the sample puzzles with them, or even show them some of our demo puzzles. Email us and we'll be happy to help.

  • Let them know that the kids will receive a couple of flyers to take home with them – one that is a general announcement, and one that includes a puzzle that they can do in class or at home.

  • There’s more on this in the Marketing Templates section. of the kit.

  • They are invited! The best way to get teachers engaged is to have them coach a team.

Talking to Your PTA
 

We’ve worked with many PTAs and PTSAs, and we’ve noticed that there really isn’t a once-size-fits-all approach for this diverse and hard-working group of parents and educators. Every region and every state’s organization has by-laws, and sometimes those laws may be interpreted in different ways. Additionally, each district and each school’s organization has varying degrees of complexity and involvement, sometimes changing from year to year. Therefore, the tips below should be used in addition to what’s above for the principals and teachers, and are specific to what the majority of PTAs may want to know about.

  • Assuming you’ve already talked to the principal and teacher, you should let the PTA know their feedback, and whether they have confirmed which dates are available to the school and whether those groups have any reservations or conflicts.

  • This is a fundraising opportunity if you want it to be. The cost of the kit can be made up by ticket sales or by a fundraising initiative or bake sale. There are more tips on this in the kit.

  • By making this a PTA event, the event should be covered by PTA insurance, but you should verify this with your PTA Board.

  • This event will require a few people to step up and help coordinate volunteers and registration. We provide full instructions and job function help in the kit.

  • This event will require a budget for giveaways (toppings), ice cream, and serving items. Costs are outlined in the kit, but should be fully covered – and then some – by a math night budget in the $250 range.

Talking to Your School Community
 

We find that this event works well as a community event, where parents, grandparents, and younger and older siblings are all welcome. Having extra parents and grandparents on hand is never a bad thing, and they can even help coach, since the event is non-competitive. Also, it’s fun to watch and take pictures of your kids interacting with the actors at each station. Older siblings can make good actors, or even help out as team coaches. Younger (preschool) siblings may not have any math to do, but are welcome to follow their brothers and sisters around, and even share in the goodies.

When should everyone eat? Since the event usually runs from 5:30-8:00, and the puzzling happens in the cafeteria, encourage teams to bring dinner, and eat it at their table after they check in.

Finally, we heartily support letting each team participate at the math level that is the best fit for them. That means that not everyone in the same grade needs to play at the same level, although each team does need to agree on the level for their team. We discourage students from pushing themselves with math that they are only just learning. Because of the theatrics, this is a high-energy event, and adrenaline can make it hard for students to work at peak math skill. There are other math events that are quieter are more serious. This event is for having fun.

© 2020 by Math Adventures LLC and Math Night Adventures.