Inspired by calculus, grid art, street math: Newsletter October 15

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I am Moby Snoodles, and this is my newsletter. Send me your requests, questions and comments at

Moby Snoodles

Blogs and networks

Two weeks ago, we started several local Math Circles in our new Inspired by Calculus series for kids ages 4 to 10. Read detailed reports at the Moebius Noodles blog, see young math faces, and try it at home.

Fractal videos rock

Our Facebook fans, in response to Robin Angotti’s funky iPad project, discuss childhood math objects that become treasured and special. Nancy Winans writes: “I remember a round plastic purse I had as a child around age 6 – a picture of a girl with the same purse with the same picture of her and it went on and on just like this for several repetitions that I could see. I remember looking at that image many many times and pondering it.” Yelena McManaman adds: “I had a huge collection of buttons and ribbons and I remember sorting and arranging the buttons lots of different ways and building with them, mosaic-style.” Do you remember any math objects from when you were little?

iPad Droste Effect

We hosted the Math Teachers at Play blog carnival #67! My personal favorites are modeling tasks like Minecraft optimization, and deep math ideas for young kids, like graph theory with dolls.


What do you see when you look at drawings by little kids? For example, grown-up artists noticed that many young artists draw big heads with legs. The more people talked about these shapes, the more meaning they found. By now developmental psychologists have come up with big theories around these simple observations: “Tadpole drawings appear during the pre-schematic stage…”

Grown-up mathematicians noticed that many young mathematicians draw grids. Round grids, square grids, grids within grids!

Have you kids made any grids? Please send us pictures and stories! See more example in our blog post, Do your little kids draw grids? with masterpieces from Michael Kelly’s son Francis. Thank you to all who sent us grid examples since we posted this!

Wanted Grid Art

By request from our newsletter reader Anna Belaschenko, we compiled math projects for the outdoors: 6 BIG adventures in street math.


Yelena McManaman and I held a family math event at SAS. One of the interesting parts of the discussion was brainstorming different Math Circles, from a math tea party for girls to a grandmothers/grandchildren club. It’s always great to try new formats.

SAS September 26, 2013

Write if you want to have us for an adventurous math event at your place.


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 October 30th!

Moby Snoodles, aka Dr. Maria Droujkova

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