Math Night for Silt’s Cactus Valley Elementary students brings learning to life |

Math Night for Silt’s Cactus Valley Elementary students brings learning to life

Cactus Valley students work on their math skills at the Rifle Walmart on March 16.
Theresa Hamilton/Courtesy

​​The Rifle Walmart was teeming with excitement on March 16 as the Cactus Valley Cougars made their presence known.

Cougars could be spotted lurking in the cereal aisle, hiding among the barbecue sauce, and stalking the bakery goods — but these were not the dangerous wildcats one might expect. Instead, they were the enthusiastic students and families of Cactus Valley Elementary School.

This annual event, known as Cactus Valley Family Math Night, brought together classroom learning and real-world math skills in a fun and interactive way. Upon arrival, students and their families checked in and were given grade-level appropriate tasks to complete throughout the grocery section of the store.

Tasks ranged from budgeting to finding volume and area, identifying the weights of produce, and even spotting geometric shapes scattered throughout the store. The event was a great success, fostering a love for math and promoting practical applications of mathematical concepts in everyday life.

“Family Math Night helps us bring classroom learning to life for our students, showcases our student’s learning for their families and our community and creates great opportunities for community partnerships with companies like Walmart,” Cactus Valley Elementary Principal Kelly Detlefsen said.

A Cactus Valley student hard at work inside the Rifle Walmart on March 16.
Theresa Hamilton/Courtesy

Third grade teacher Toni Yorty said it was nice to be able to do events like Family Math Night again.

“It’s great to be able to partner with Walmart and get out into the public again,” she said. “This is a nice opportunity for us to be out in the community and have our students show off their math skills.”

Fourth grader Payson Keranen scrambled around the store searching for the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. Her task was to record both the actual price of the items and a rounded price of the items and compare the two.

“It’s important to know how to round because if you only have a certain amount of money, and you need to get all this stuff, you need to know if you can get it all,” she explained, and then sprinted off to find the chocolate chips to finish her task.

Third grader Olivia Moreno said she had fun using her math skills.

“I liked being able to do multiplication and to find different polygons around the store,” she said.

Ultimately, Detlefsen was thrilled with the turnout and seeing families enjoy learning and math together.

“Our staff, and especially our academic coach Nikki Foreback, put so much energy into creating tonight, it is really wonderful to see so many kids and their families doing math together and have this event be such a success,” she said with a smile.

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