“Kids want to do math, but they don’t like it. There’s nothing fun about it,” Hitt said. “So when we brought this out as a way to play, they love it. If you let them play with the manipulatives instead of just handing them pencil and paper and telling them to do math, they really enjoy it.”
Initially, Hitt offered the math club to the first 32 students who signed up – 16 kindergarten through second grade, and 16 third through fifth grade. The response was overwhelming to say the least, and now Hitt hopes to offer three new sessions that will serve about 100 more kids, and there is a growing waiting list.
“We’re going to allow every child who wants to to be a part of the club,” Hitt said. “I couldn’t tell a kid no.”
The Crazy 8’s Math Club at CES had its first meeting on Sept. 11, and will meet after school one day a week for one hour for the duration of the eight-week session. At the first meeting students in each grade group used glo-sticks to create geometric designs, first as individuals, then in small groups, then finally as a large, full-group intertwined glowing creation. Most of the club’s projects use hands-on, tangible lessons to help students learn the math behind the activity, while having fun along the way.
“The kids are going to be moving, playing, having fun, thinking big thoughts and making connections,” Hitt said of the club’s meetings. “They will be learning to find the beauty in the mathematics and wanting to experience it.”
Hitt said projects completed by students will be sent home with them, along with materials for parents to help them have a conversation about that week’s activity. There is also a free website to encourage further learning and an app that kids can use to play with more math in their free time.
“I think parents are hungry to understand the new math, and want to know why we don’t teach math the same way they learned it,” Hitt said. “The materials we send home from the Crazy 8’s Club will help with some of that.”
Hitt has recruited a number of teachers at Campbellsburg to volunteer their time to help with the club, but would appreciate parent volunteers. Parents could also volunteer to lead an eight-week session. Hitt assures anyone who might be interested in doing so that the math is very accessible and that clear, easy to follow materials are provided with every session to help them prepare.
“We’re so happy we can offer this to our students,” Hitt said. “It’s so exciting to see so many of our students who really want to engage in math.”
For more information or to volunteer to help with the Crazy 8’s Math club, please call (502) 845-8630.