By Steve Parker
Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan – Teachers and administrators at The Sullivans School on board Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka opened their first Parent University, Sept. 29. The first time school was held to teach parents about the new College and Career Ready (C&CR) curriculum standards adopted in mathematics this year by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) worldwide school system.
The Parent University was held after school in the upper cafeteria of the school. Principal Daisy Weddle and several faculty members made a short presentation about C&CR standards to an interested crowd of approximately 30 Sullivans Parents. The presentation included a Power Point, a video about the C&CR, answered questions, and gave parents a taste of a typical C&CR math problem solving standard. Parents were shown how the C&CR standards strive to direct students’ mathematical thinking towards three key shifts; focus, coherence and rigor. The new standards also push the students’ thinking towards the conceptual, procedural and finally, real world applications of their newly learned skills. The new standards include hands on activities in nearly every lesson.
As expected, parents had lots of questions and were curious about the “new math” methods their children were telling them about each day after school. Shawn Bogen, Sullivans’ school nurse, whose twin daughters, Claire and Chloe are in 5th grade said, “I listened closely when my daughters taught me how to find the volume of a cube after the third week of school this year, They had a small discussion about their methods and I was impressed with the vocabulary terms they used.” Weddle also stated that the Sullivans had already planned for more Parent Universities to be presented as this transition year unfolds. In closing, parents were asked to write additional questions on notes and place them on a Parking lot board where the questions would be collected and answered in future parent newsletters.
Children were also present at the family friendly gathering and Jada Shaw, a 4th grade student from Jennifer Stevens class said, when asked about her new math classes, “I really like the multiplication sentences and now we are learning how to break them apart.”