Elana Reiser, Ed.D., professor of mathematics and computer science, with child study and math adolescence education majors last week hosted a Family Math Night for local elementary school students and their families.
The purpose of the event was to get children excited about math and encourage families to continue the fun of math at home, as well as give St. Joseph’s students experience teaching math to children.
“It was a great opportunity for students to participate in academics in a fun and engaging way outside of their normal classroom and learning environment,” said Giana LoCurto ’25, who is majoring in mathematics/adolescence special education. “Having the families present allowed for a different dynamic which the kids seemed to love.”
During the April 24 event, SJNY students led small groups in interactive, family-oriented activities, including math Jenga, counting change and quizzes. Participants moved around the room every 15 minutes to ensure they visited each station.
“I wanted to take a subject that is typically viewed as boring and put a new spin on it, making math enjoyable and exciting,” Dr. Reiser said. “The children who attended got to participate in fun and engaging math games while bonding with their families, and SJNY students got a chance to apply what they have been learning in the classroom about teaching math while experiencing how it actually feels to do so.”
Students in Dr. Reiser’s class created the games. There were also raffles and prizes — donated by local businesses — that were awarded to participants. The parents who attended shared that their children had a blast and couldn’t wait for SJNY to host another event. Dr. Reiser plans to hold a math night event each semester to coincide with her Math 100 course.
“The event allowed students of various ages and capabilities to participate in our math night,” said Taylor Korsiak ’25, mathematics/adolescence special education. “We were able to engage these eager learners through fun, yet exciting activities. As a future educator, it was a wonderful experience to see students interact with mathematics at our university.”
Photo above: (from left) SJNY professor Elana Reiser with Long Island Campus students Andrew Powers ’24, Taylor Korsiak ’25, Giana LoCurto ’25 and Brianna Paredes ’24. (Credit: Valerie Esposito)