Where’s math in this play? Open Minds book is out, and our new book bundle. Newsletter March 7, 2016

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Where is mathematics? Playing with blocks online, March 10

Sian Zelbo, a co-author and illustrator of the popular math circle and family book Camp Logic, is working on her next book, Playing With Blocks. Parents and teachers often tell us, “Yes, we see how your activities are beautiful and playful, and we want that for our children’s math. But we can’t find the math in our play. Help!” Sian’s book helps you to see deep mathematics in playful activities. And now, you have a chance to work with Sian Zelbo and Sally Bishop live, during a workshop we offer.

The activity you will explore in the online workshop is a joyful and elegant example of mathematics that starts easy, and then takes you far. The areas of math you will touch come from the subjects of geometry, number theory, and combinatorics.
Kinds Of Polygons
You will help your children grow their math eyes, and notice unexpected links between concepts such as angle and area, minimum/maximum and perimeter, combinations that form a sum and types of triangles (equilateral, scalene, and so on). You will make bridges to other rich math activities, such as pentaminoes and tangrams.
Matchstick Pentaminoes
As we talk, you will pick up good math terms for this exploration, and good search phrases for when you want to investigate these topics more. You will also collect questions you can ask about any problem, to learn deeper, more joyful math. For example:
  • What makes Thing One and Thing Two similar or different? (For example, a triangle and a square.)
  • What is the largest thing you can make? How do you measure your things? (For example, using a grid to measure areas.)
  • What if you change your numbers around? What other things you can change? (For example, 10 toothpicks instead of 12.)

Check out a sample activity you can try, from our online workshop centered on the new book’s ideas. It runs on March 10 and 11, and is for parents and teachers with children ages 5-12.

Playing With Blocks 2016 miniposter


A new Natural Math book is out!

The latest Natural Math book for parents, math circle leaders, and teachers is called Bright, Brave, Open Minds: Engaging Young Children in Math Inquiry.  Go to the book’s page to try out several activities with your children, and get a taste of the inquiry-based approach to playful, deep mathematics.

In the introduction, the author Julia Brodsky writes:

I will share with you what I have learned as I tinkered with teaching problem solving to curious young children, ages six to eight. The purpose of this book is to invite you to experiment with your own children or students, without any preconceived notions of how the outcome will look. Instead, allow your personal taste and the children’s feedback to guide you.

As all our books, Open Minds is available in paperback as well as electronic formats and name-your-price PDF. To celebrate, we offer a limited-time sale on our book bundle. Check it out!

5-book Bundle Sale

Dr. Maria Droujkova and the Natural Math crew

CC BY-NC-SA


Questions? Email reach.out@naturalmath.com or ask in comments to this page.

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