Written by: Sherry Anderson, 4th grade teacher

For this year’s Parent Night at Southaven Intermediate, we really wanted to provide parents with a deeper understanding of the PARCC math assessment based questions. Unlike MCT2 questions which simply ask students to choose a multiple choice answer, PARCC asks students to justify and prove their answers. Providing this information allows one to see the problems are not more difficult, but they are more engaging and ask for a deeper understanding of the standards being taught.  Students no longer can simply choose a quick answer but must utilize problem solving skills. Teachers and parents are now able to see a student’s thought process and fine tune any misconceptions that students may have.


When parents arrived at SIS for Math Parent Night, they were placed into small groups and taken to the first of four math stations. Here, they received a general overview of the PARCC assessment and question/answer time was given. After this station was completed, they then went on to complete three more math stations. These next three math stations contained math problems for the parents to become actively engaged in working using manipulatives. They were shown how the questions might have looked on the MCT2 and then shown how it might look on the PARCC assessment. Parents were able to solve the problems and justify their answers. After all math stations had been completed, they enjoyed light refreshments, and students were given an awesome math tote bag full of manipulatives and books for them to use at home to help reinforce their math skills.

Southaven Intermediate’s Parent Night was a huge success. Both parents and students seemed to have gained a greater understanding of expectations regarding the math curriculum and PARCC assessment.