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Blockfest Webinar

I attended the Blockfest webinar on Wednesday July 14th. The primary presenter discussed an organization which hosts "Blockfests" in various places around the country. A Blockfest is an event targeted towards children ages 2-8 and their parents. The children are broken down into smaller play groups, each of which has a trained moderator to work with the parents and help to relate the "block play" to mathematical concepts. The idea is to begin planting the seeds of mathematics in students at early ages. The events have been successful. "Success" for the parents means that they are learning how to interact with their children and begin to plant the seeds of mathematics concepts at an early age. "Success" for the children means they have had fun playing with blocks and their new friends for the duration of the event.

Though I teach high school mathematics, I believe that making math relevant and fun at early ages is a wonderful way to plant seeds of learning that make math fun. The more opportunities to make math fun at early ages, the more likely students are to engage in mathematics in elementary school and high school ages. I see many students who come into class with the attitude "I can't do math" from Day 1 of the year. I believe an event like Blockfest is one good way to counteract this kind of mindset.

Doug, thanks for the update. I have not heard of these before. I'll have to check them out. Did the presenter talk about how they determine where the BlockFests will be held? Do they try to focus in urban areas or in certain demographic areas? Or can teachers/parents etc. make a request of the organization to do one locally?

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