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February 2, 2014

TACKLING PROBLEMS:

Borden Elementary event for students, dads prepares for ISTEP+

BORDEN — To score a touchdown on ISTEP+, teachers got a creative way to help students learn math and get more dads to volunteer.

William Borden Elementary School’s inaugural Math Super Bowl with Dads helped fourth-graders prepare for the state’s high-stakes standardized test. Fathers, uncles and grandfathers of students at the school volunteered to head up some of the activities.

Samantha Hurst, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, said between learning geometry, decimal placement and other lessons through football, it’s nice to have men in the schools to volunteer time.

“This is a really good way to get dads involved,” Hurst said. “We don’t see them as much because of work and everything else, so the kids get pretty pumped. They like having that interaction and have that positive male role model.”

The students and guardians tackled tasks like rounding up football players’ salaries and using jersey numbers in a decimal question. At another station, students answered flashcard questions. If they got the answer correct, they advanced their football player 10 yards.

Heading up the scavenger hunt event, Matthew Carter took the day off from his job at Cummins Inc., in Columbus to teach one of the sessions. His son, Mason, attends the school.

Matthew said he volunteers at the school on occasion, but it’s fun to come in a couple of days before the big game to help out.

“My bachelor’s degree is in mechanical engineering, so at home, I’m the one who’s usually helping with math homework anyway,” Matthew said. “It’s a good day and excuse for me to get out of work.”

Hurst said the school worked to get local businesses to sponsor the event and help with the tailgating snacks in the middle of the day. She said My Cup Runneth Over Coffee Cafe in Borden paid for all of the pizza.

Jacob Maggard, a fourth-grader at the school, said it’s nice to see dads help out in the school, but it’s also fun to learn with something he’s really interested in — football.

“It’s fun because you have fun things to do,” Maggard said. “You’re doing things you like and you’re not forced to do something you don’t like.”

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