Baraboo elementary schools host math game night for families

February 10, 2018

Families had a chance to bond over board games Thursday at Gordon L. Wilson Elementary School.

Staff members from Gordon L. Willson and West Elementary schools set up a variety of board games in classrooms throughout the building and encouraged students and their families to partake in some friendly competition. Gordon L. Willson kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Gulden said the event allowed families to interact without the use of technology.

“It’s something that a few math coaches here have been thinking about for a while because we’ve done a lot of math technology combo nights,” she said. “We definitely see a great place for technology, but sometimes we have to get back to just being together and not necessarily using screen time.”

During the Family Math Game Night, Carly Jones played Chutes and Ladders with her son Nolan, 6, and daughters Mayle, 4, and Sadie, 1. Jones said her son was so excited to attend the game night that he passed up on going to the Kalahari water park for a convention with his father.

Another family, Justin Stenberg and his son Grayson, 6, competed in a friendly game of Trouble. Stenberg said the event made him want to purchase a few more board games for his family to play together.

“It’s fun, and we’re having a great time,” he said. “I would like to pick up a few of these old school ones that we haven’t played in a while.”

Gulden said the strategy games allowed students to practice their math and problem-solving skills while spending time with family.

“We talked about the math skills of counting and problem-solving and strategy that can come from playing games together,” she said. “It’s a fun recreational way to build those math skills.”

In addition to games, several local restaurants donated pizzas for the event. The elementary school’s parent group also donated 11 board games, which were raffled off at the end of the night.

Gulden said seeing families come together over board games was a highlight of the evening.

“It brings families together and connects them with staff, and they can see how much we care about their kids,” she said. “It also stresses the importance of spending time together as a family and learning and growing together.”