Math Dictionary, Math App and Smarter Babies

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There is so much math goodness on the web this week, that we are bursting at the seams and need to share our finds with the world!

First up, a math dictionary for kids (and adults). Now, we did mention in one of our newsletters that we were working on creating a math dictionary for the Moebius Noodles book. Our goal was to avoid formulas and connect rigorous and concise mathematical definitions to everyday experiences and objects. It was both difficult and fun.

This week we saw a post and a video on MathFour blog about an online math dictionary for kids. We checked it out and yes, it’s terrific! Instead of just reading, you get to take each definition for a spin, sometimes quite literally (as with “rotation” and “rotational symmetry”). It seems to be designed with older kids in mind, but pre-readers can explore it with your help. Ability to print out the results of your experiments is an added bonus.


If you have an iPad or an iPhone you are likely on the lookout for new math apps. Check out the freshly released and free MIT-P app. Designed by the Embodied Design Research Laboratory (EDRL) at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education and built by Terasoft, the Mathematical Imagery Trainer for Proportion (MIT-P) is “designed to support discovery-based instruction of multiplicative concepts, primarily proportion.”

MIT-P app

I’ll do a separate review of our experience with the MIT-P app next week. Even though this app is designed primarily with elementary- and middle-schoolers in mind, let your younger child try anyway. After all, babies are smarter than we think.

According to the 2009 NYT article by Alison Gopnik, “in some ways, [babies and very young children] are smarter than adults”. It’s a great article to keep in mind whenever we feel inclined to teach our young kids anything, including math. It explains why certain techniques that work with older kids will not and physically cannot work with younger ones. It also talks about the most effective way of teaching young kids and it is surprisingly simple.




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