1. There is no new Math Challenge. I spent last weekend sick in bed, but will have #11 ready for this coming Monday.
2. The Math Champs for Challenge #10 were:
Primary - Xabi in Ms. Smith's class
Intermediate - Scout in Ms. Goldman's class
Primary Classroom - Ms. Smith
Intermediate Classroom - Ms. Goldman
3. I will be sharing many pictures, stories, and comments from Math Challenge #10 next week. It takes me a lot of time to put everything together when pictures are involved, and for some reason I have felt consistently "behind" this week. The material will all still be interesting and awesome next week ...
4. Abigail, in Ms. Colando's classroom, made a time-lapse video while working on the challenge last week. It is a MUST SEE! Thank you for doing this Abigail, and for letting me share!
5. A theme from the last challenge seemed to be one of perseverance and that mistakes are OK. As I was looking through all of the wonderful tile floor designs that Ms. Colando's students created for me, I found one that I really liked - both the design and the colors. There was no name, but the student left me a little note: "I know it isn't correct. I know the right way to do it but I put effort into it so I put it in anyway." It turned out to be Olivia's and Ms. Colando said that she wasn't going to give it to me because she had made a mistake, but that Ms. Colando explained how it was OK and that what I was looking for was understanding and effort. I am SO glad she did - it's fantastic!
There is a math exhibit currently going on at the Pacific Science Center.
It is called Math Moves! Fractions in Action, and is open through May 1st.
I have not been, but I have heard from a First Grade friend that it is worth seeing!
Sometime last month I read about a BBC mini-series that was about math. Shortly there after I started seeing things about it pop up on Twitter. The buzz has all been positive and has totally peaked my interest. It is called The Story of Maths. It has 4 parts and is presented by Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy. I will definitely be checking it out.
A link to the show itself is here.
A link to more detailed information about the show is here.
One of my favorite researchers, and authors, in the world of Mathematics is Stanford professor Jo Boaler. She has recently created an informational flyer for parents and families with some advice about teaching math to your kids. I was really excited to see this new addition to her list of resources.
It is SO important for us (adults) to remember that even though we came out of the educational system learning math, scathed or unscathed, OUR EXPERIENCE IS NOT OUR CHILDREN'S EXPERIENCE. For better or for worse, instructionally and/or emotionally.
I was telling a student today that "bar modeling" was never a part of my math instruction, and so I was learning the method along with him. I explained that when I was younger we just did problem after problem after problem. Do you remember copying all of those problems out of your hard back book into your spiral notebook and solving them, night after night? I told him that even though "bar modeling" was a new way of solving math problems for me, I could see how helpful it was and that I really love using the method. How wonderful that he gets to begin his math journey with such a tool!
Another example comes from my husband. I ordered some Cuisinare Rods (a hand manipulative tool for place value and measurement) that came in the mail today. He picks them up and says, "What's this for?" I explained and he responds with, "Man I wish they had these kinds of things when I was little and learning math!"
So, back to Jo Boaler...
Much of her work is around how to encourage our young learners to be confident, curious, and successful in mathematics. And to remember that their journey is just beginning. It doesn't have to be the same journey that we took.
PLEASE take a moment to check out Jo's new, short, handout for parents and families.
OK, that's it for now. As always, I welcome comments, questions, suggestions, etc... Be on the lookout for an amazing collection of student work (on Math Challenge #10) next week!