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Saturday, Sep 22, 2018
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Frozen-themed event helps students learn math

BROOKSVILLE — Snowflakes hung from the ceiling in the wintery-looking room where tables were set with games for Brooksville Elementary School kindergarten, first- and second-grade children, and their families. The after-school event was called Frozen Math.

"It’s Frozen movie-themed," said math resource teacher and event coordinator Carrie DeNote, 38. DeNote saw the idea while attending the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference with district math coach Connie Jeppesen, and decided to try it.

"It’s to get the parents involved," DeNote said. "To get them involved with math talk."

DeNote hopes parents can help their children use math even when they are not in school.

She calls it "being able to mathematize the world around them."

The event featured a table for each grade level with progressively more difficult versions of each game.

One game was called "Capture 4." In it, each student rolled a dice. Kindergartners added two to the number on the dice. First-graders added 10, and second-graders added 20.

"We want them to do the mental math without using pencil and paper," DeNote said.

The children wore necklaces that teachers signed as they completed each game. If they finished all the games, children received Frozen character pictures and hot chocolate.

Live Frozen characters, Elsa and Anna, posed with students for photos. Elsa was played by Sarah Majka, 19, a psychology major at Pasco-Hernando State College, and Anna was played by Hannah Majka, 20, a theater major at the University of South Florida. Like Elsa and Anna, the they are sisters.

They volunteered for this event because of their tie to Brooksville Elementary. Their mother, Kim Whitaker, was once a front office secretary.

First-grader Emily Simmons, 6, was at Frozen Math with her mother Kay Simmons, 34. Emily’s favorite Frozen character is Elsa, and she said she is good at math.

The event "brings families together, (and it’s) fun for the kids," Kay Simmons said. She admitted learning a little something at math night herself.

"I learned how to do counters," she said, which involved using circles to add.

Second-grader Jordynlynn Davis, 7, said all the Frozen characters are her favorites, and she likes to add.

Jordynlynn was at Frozen Math with her mother Desiree Davis, 29.

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