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Family Hanukkah Math Celebration
When I was a sophomore in high school, it was a curricular requirement to perform community service. One of the opportunities was to tutor children with learning challenges and help them with their homework. As you may have already guessed, that was my first choice. I was honored to be assigned to teach an amazing third grade girl who was struggling with math. As is often the case with students and teachers, I ended up learning a lot from her. I learned what it takes to go above and beyond to help someone succeed in an area that terrifies them.

When I met that wonderful young woman for the first time, the very first thing she told me was: “Do not waste your time, I’m really bad at math, I do not like math”, to which I replied: “Let’s play War”. She gave me a confused look. We rolled up a deck of cards and started playing. During our game I asked if she would mind playing with four cards instead of two. I explained that we can use addition and the higher sum will win. I noticed her struggling to add numbers like 7+8, so we started talking about different ways to solve 7+8. She insisted on using mental math and not her fingers. After two hours of playing, she looked at me and said: “That was so much fun.” I looked at her smile and said: “Yes, it was super fun, and by the way…that was math”. That was my first success using games to show the beauty of math.

To this day, I enjoy seeing my students excited about playing math games. It definitely increases their motivation. Even the quietest students in class find their voice and shine as they lead their groups through games.

Yavneh’s math program integrates engaging math games to encourage students to explore number combinations, to understand place value, to investigate patterns, and to comprehend other important mathematical concepts. Integrating math games in our math curriculum gives the students opportunities to deepen their mathematical understanding and reasoning.

It is my great pleasure to invite you to join our Hanukkah Family Math Celebration at Yavneh on Monday, December 16th between 6:00-7:30p.m. We will have math games for all, from kindergarten to middle school, arranged by the staff and the student council. If you love logic questions, riddles, puzzles, games, math or just plain fun, I hope you will join us for this math celebration! -Morah Danielle (Danielle Sapiens)