Even parents who are not so "nimble with numbers" sat down with students to learn math tips and strategies during Open Door Math Day, held May 17 at Hilliard Crossing Elementary School.

Even parents who are not so "nimble with numbers" sat down with students to learn math tips and strategies during Open Door Math Day, held May 17 at Hilliard Crossing Elementary School.

Principal Britanie Risner said Open Door Math Day was a chance for parents to see how math instruction has changed over the years.

"Students now explore why an answer is correct and how they got the answer instead of just getting credit for having the right answer," she said.

She said parents seemed to appreciate the opportunity to see a firsthand perspective of their child's classroom.

Goals for the event included an explanation of the state's new common core math standards, which have an emphasis on "rigor and coherence" and allowing parents to see what math teaching and learning looks like in Hilliard City Schools, Risner said.

"The 21st-century skills we emphasize with our students are communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity," she said. "Our instructional focus to support the development of these skills is on two specific instructional strategies: number talks and exemplars.

"Number talks (are) a way that students build number sense through mental math in order to become more flexible, accurate and efficient in math. Exemplars are rich problems that connect authentically to real-world situations that require students to work together to problem-solve, communicate and justify their reasoning."

Risner said educational research has shown a deeper understanding of math concepts at an early age may lead to greater success in future math courses.

She said the day ended with teachers giving parents tips on how to support math instruction at home this summer.

"I believe that the opportunity to see the learning is far more powerful than just hearing someone talk about it," she said. "It is exciting for parents to hear our students answer challenging math problems, justify their answers and take risks as thinkers.

"Our parents were impressed by the depth of understanding our students possess, and that was something you want to see."

Risner said this was the school's first Open Door Math Day, but teachers hope to host the event whenever possible.

"We want to encourage parents to ask questions, provide feedback and offer suggestions on how to increase the partnership between school and home for the purpose of student understanding and confidence in the area of mathematics," she said.