HomeCinnaminson NewsTeachers at Eleanor Rush make math and reading fun

Teachers at Eleanor Rush make math and reading fun

At annual Family Math and Literacy Night, teachers aimed to get students excited about coming to school

Eleanor Rush students gathered around children’s book author Mark C. Collins for a spooky reading of his book ‘Witch Switch’ about two witch sisters.

Stephen Finn

The Sun

- Advertisement -

Eleanor Rush Intermediate School’s teachers are pretty creative when it comes to getting their students excited about learning. At their annual Family Math and Literacy Night on Oct. 25, they opened their doors to students and parents alike for a night of fantasy-themed activities aimed at getting them excited about math and reading.

Upon arriving at the school, visitors were handed a map outlining various activities taking place in classrooms throughout the building. There were reading activities such as Scary Stories with teacher Michael Fries, and Reader’s Theater with third grade teachers including Nyssa Barker.

There were also more math-driven activities such as Geometric Creations with teachers Leslie Ostrowski and Carolyn Polino, and Magical Math Facts Fun with teachers Karen Sweet and Forrest Harding.

Students were excited to see their teachers in a more relaxed, after-school setting, and fun came easily for everyone who participated in games.

“First off we want them to have fun and kind of see us in a different light,” said Sweet.

“It’s amazing how even though we’re in the exact same room, this is our classroom, when they see us they get so excited,” said Harding. “If we could get this same energy in the classroom every day, it would be amazing.”

Their Magical Math Facts Fun room consisted of a game combining math knowledge and athletic ability. Participants were divided into two teams and each player took turns rolling a pair of dice. Depending on their age level, they either added or multiplied their two numbers and whoever guessed correctly had a chance to take a shot into a nearby basket for additional points.

“It’s a fun competition. They were really competitive and nobody got angry or upset,” said Sweet.

Room 113 held a very special guest for the night: illustrator and children’s book author Mark C. Collins, who was there signing books for his young readers. Collins has written and illustrated books including “Grandma Stinks” and “Meet the Bugs.” Given the close proximity of the event to Halloween, Collins chose his book “Witch Switch,” about two witch sisters, during his live reading for the night.

“I’m really happy that they invited me. One of the best parts about doing events like this is meeting people,” said Collins.

The author hopes the event encourages young people to get creative on their own.

“I hope kids get inspiration to write on their own or draw. One little girl was just in here and she draws every day in her sketchbook. That’s always great to hear at such a young age, somebody so passionate about drawing or writing, that’s always one of the best parts of it,” said Collins.

In the Reader’s Theater room, Eleanor Rush’s third grade teachers helped students as they put on a short play entitled “Three Pirate Pigs,” an interesting take on the classic “Three Little Pigs” fable. Participants were given simple, yet creative props and costumes and a script to read as they performed the play to a small crowd of parents.

“It’s a fun way to share their fluency and their reading ability,” said Barker.

Reading specialist at Eleanor Rush Hollie Helman made sure she was in attendance for the event and spoke on how she and the school are working to encourage reading for their young students.

“Ultimately the goal is to have the students fall in love with reading,” said Helman.

Rather than trying to steer students away from devices that seem to take a lot of their attention these days, Helman tries to use technology as a tool to connect with the children. According to her, teachers often build up a student’s experience with a particular text by introducing it with a short video before they start their reading.

“We use technology in the classroom to engage them more,” said Helman.

She encourages reading in any medium. Graphic novels and science fiction are popular among their young students, and she is all for it.

“Reading is reading,” said Helman.


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue



‘Take the initiative’

STEM will host open space tours

A ‘higher calling’