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Math Man at Southdown Doubles as Huntington Superintendent James Polansky

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it....Superintendent Polansky?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it….Superintendent Polansky?

Southdown Primary School students don’t have to be sold on the idea that math can be an awful lot of fun once a person gets the “hang of it.” Southdown’s recent Family Math Night proved the point as parents and their children took delight in engaging in a variety of math related games and challenges.

“The event was extremely successful and well attended,” Southdown Principal Michelle Marino said. More than 150 students and their parents turned out on a cold winter night to show their enthusiasm for mathematics. Participants ranged from kindergarteners through fourth graders.

Southdown’s Family Math Night has grown in popularity, with participation doubling over the past five years. “The objective of the evening was to give opportunities to parents to work alongside their son or daughter to complete math challenges that reflected the common core standards for mathematics at each grade level,” Mrs. Marino explained.

While the activities could be quite challenging at times, they were presented in a game-like manner that allowed children and parents to share the joy of mathematics and realize the fun of learning. Students rotated through learning/activity centers facilitated by Southdown teachers.

The hands-on learning centers included ones for counting and cardinality for kindergartners, geometry, operations and algebraic thinking, numbers and operations in base 10 for grades 1 and 2, numbers and operations with fractions for grades 3 and 4 and measurement and data.

An energetic group of 19 Huntington High School National Math Honor Society members was on the scene to share their expertise and help assist and inspire Southdown’s youngsters to approach math as a challenge to be solved.

A very special guest presented the crowd with an “ultimate challenge” near the end of the evening. “Math Man” wowed both children and parents alike with his superior Tangram skills and then challenged them to create animals using the geometric shapes.

“The teams worked diligently with their high school ‘mathspert’ to make adjustments to the shapes until the animal figure was agreed upon,” Mrs. Marino said. If the crowd thought “Math Man” looked familiar it was because he doubles as Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky.

The Southdown school community is well-known for its imaginative educational initiatives and events that seek to ignite excitement for learning among students. Teachers, support staff, parents and Mrs. Marino are dogged in their desire to provide students with the most comprehensive and well-rounded educational possible. Many of the district’s top students over the years have started their educational journey at Southdown School.

Source: Public Information Office, hufsd

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