What are your math dreams? If we don’t stand up to Napoleon, who will? Newsletter May 15, 2013

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I am Moby Snoodles, and I love to hear from you at moby@moebiusnoodles.com

Moby Snoodles

Talking about the book: mini-course for parents

We are talking with many people about math ed.

When it comes to math and children, what do you want? What are your dreams? 

This is what we ask. It gives people pause; it brings out passions. And then other questions come up – because what people want tends to be very, very far away from the current reality.

The questions start pouring in. How do I start? What resources should I use and where do I find them? Is my dream even possible? Has anyone done it before and succeeded?

One thing became clear in these conversations. Yes, online hubs like our Q&A platform help, especially when you have a specific question or two. For example, this Monday, Malke the math dancer wondered if attributes of dance constitute variables, and if we are doing algebra while choreographing. But someone who is just starting out is likely to have dozens of questions all at once. Or they might not have any questions because the subject is so new and overwhelming.

People want and need small, active support groups that can share dreams, brainstorm plans, and make things happen. Moreover, this brave undertaking has to be reasonably casual.

As a member of the National Association of Math Circles board, I often get into discussions of why don’t we have more Math Circles. I think I know why. Because too many people conceptualize Math Circles as hardcore endeavors that require the support of a university or a big corporation, and a highly educated leader working a gazillion hours a week to prepare and implement activities.

The model we are developing only requires a few interested people: a couple of parents whose kids are friends, a small homeschool coop, or a playgroup. Our pilot to test the model will be a mini-course online. The goal is to help participants start a local math playgroup or informal club. We think of the course as a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course), not because we want it large, but because it feels open and connected.

If you think you may want to start a math playgroup, and to participate in a course that will help, drop me a line!

Mom and kids learning together

Doing good: reasons people pay for the Moebius Noodles PDF

Our book has the open Creative Commons license, and is available as a download where people name their own price: https://naturalmath.com/TheBook Some people download for free, which is great. We are very happy about the sales. We sell about the same number of digital files as we do paper books. People have good reasons to pay, and to name fair prices! So, people pay to…

  • …Support further Moebius Noodles projects
  • …Express appreciation of the art and content of the book
  • …Feed the authors of the project
  • …Be a hero of quality mathematics education
  • …Share math all around the world (we get a much more international crowd for electronic sales)
  • …Help to prove that open access and open licences are good ideas

All these reasons work! The Moebius Noodles team feels supported, and is doing more projects, like the parent course. Other excellent math authors are already working with us on more advanced young math booklets, which will also be available under open licenses. Other authors join in making their existing projects open, such as Don Cohen’s “Calculus for 7 year olds” and “Map to Calculus.” Volunteer teams are translating Moebius Noodles into Spanish, Persian, Russian, and Hebrew at a crowd-translation platform: http://crowdin.net/project/MoebiusNoodles We use CrowdIn for free, because we are a Creative Commons project. Email me if you want to start another language.

Thank you for your continuing support! Our math love to you!

Blogs and networking

Unschooling Lifestyle is celebrating the name “Moebius Noodles” with some Mobius Strip activities and resources, such as Vi Hart’s story “Wind and Mr. Ug.”

 

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Michael Kelly is chatting with us on Facebook about the Fibonacci Day 5/8/13.

HappyFibonacciDayChat

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At her “Math Mama Writes” blog, Sue VanHattum talks about the role of Creative Commons open licence in decisions to read and to buy books. Here are some comments on the post. The first one refers to our note by the “Download PDF” button: “You choose how much you want to pay, and type the number here. Support Moebius Noodles as you can, from zero to infinity!”

Denise Gaskins:
I wonder how they would process a payment of “infinity” for the pdf…

Butterfly:
What a brilliant book! I have just devoured the PDF and am eager to buy the hard copy … just deciding how many copies :)

Denise Gaskins:
How many copies: Our church has a lot of young couples, so I plan to buy a copy for every new baby shower. In fact, I wish I had enough spare money to get one for every kid in the nursery now…

In the next few days, we will be adding an option for groups to save on shipping when they order multiple copies. I know it is welcome news for learning coops, math circles, and simply groups of friends who want to do math together. Right now buying an extra copy saves almost four dollars on shipping.

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In related news, we greatly simplified the PDF download based on the comments of Vlad Kuznetsov on Facebook. Now it’s quicker and easier – thanks Vlad!

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Here is our crowdfunder Dor Abrahamson, giving his Supporter Certificate a visual “Like!” Send us photos of kids, friends and colleagues enjoying the book or playing math games from it!

Dor Abrahamson Supporter Certificate

Sharing

You are welcome to share the contents of this newsletter online or in print. You can also remix and tweak anything here as you wish, as long as you share your creations on the same terms. Please credit MoebiusNoodles.com

More formally, we distribute all Moebius Noodles content under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license: CC BY-NC-SA

CC BY-NC-SA

 

Talk to you again on May 30th!

Moby Snoodles, aka Dr. Maria Droujkova

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