Playing, dreaming, translating: Newsletter May 30, 2013

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I am Moby Snoodles, and this is my newsletter. I love to hear from you at

Moby Snoodles

Book news

Friends of the project are starting translations of Moebius Noodles into French, Turkish, Frisian and Dutch. If you can help with these languages, join our crowd-translating hub: We will copyedit translations and release them under Creative Commons open licence, just like the book.

Ask Moby Snoodles

There are a few new questions up at the Q&A hub. Check it out!


Math Goggles #11: JUST LISTEN!

Let’s listen to the math children bring up on their own. Our contributor, Malke Rosenfeld of Math in Your Feet, frequently describes such math chats on her blog. Here’s an example from her recent post: Seven-year-old is pushing cart around the store, narrating as she goes: “Go forward, now one quarter turn to the right, now go forward, parallel park. Okay, now turn half way around, go straight, one quarter turn…”

Here’s my six-year-old who is waiting impatiently for his first baby tooth to fall out, but it seems it won’t ever happen: Mama, I have a tiny hope, and it’s quickly approaching zero, that this tooth will fall out soon.

Or David Wees’s “Decomposing Fractions” post, in which he retells a conversation with his son: Daddy, I’m full. I had 1 and a half…no, one and a quarter slices of pizza which is the same as five quarters of pizza,” said my son at dinner tonight…


We hosted a local parent meeting, asking about people’s dreams.

Turns out, we all have a lot of questions for which there are no ready answers, such as:

  • Where do kids find help for THEIR math – art math, dump truck math, the math of infinity (when you are four)? Is there a system that can guide you from one concept to the next, given your interests, your learning history, and your favorite things in life?
  • How come there are no “math play” or “math support” groups, and how do you form them?
  • Why do so many children develop the math anxiety? What can we do about it?
  • Is there an easy and quick way to find math-rich resources that reflect your passions – books, games, activities?

We believe that the answers to many of these deep questions cannot be handed down, but need to be discovered by those asking them. This said, we also believe that searching for answers should be not a solitary endeavor, but a social experience. That’s why we have the Ask hub and the Facebook page. Still, nothing can replace the face-to-face interactions. Stay tuned: we are working on helping parents start local circles.


In related news, a seven-year-old scientist-poet Joseph dreams about ancient civilizations.

Joseph B

…We are just new,

We are just new,

Like a new born baby.

With her mommy and daddy crew.

The civilizations

That are older than us

Old smart aliens,

Looking at us…


Peter Gray’s new book Free to Learn talks about play a lot. Our guest blogger Matt Droujkov posted a review of the book in five concept maps.

There is a math club activity where students make “star diagrams” out of lists of what is important to them. Here is such a diagram explaining Peter Gray’s five types of play as they relate to math.

Types of Play


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

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



Talk to you again on June 15th!

Moby Snoodles, aka Dr. Maria Droujkova

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