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Our newsletter grew beyond 6,000 subscribers this month. That means even more parents, teachers, and math circle leaders will be sharing their ideas, models, art, and stories. Speaking of stories…
On September 25, invite your children to celebrate Math Storytelling Day. What types of stories do people create and share on this day?
Picture from the Sequences activity in our Multiplication Explorers course
Classic math tales span centuries of tradition and history, and are still popular today. Invite friends and family to watch these 1-minute videos, find these stories as books or blogs, or best of all, act out your own versions with toys! There’s Zeno’s paradoxes (ancient Greece); the tale of king, chessboard, and rice (10th century India and Persia); or Hotel Infinity (early 20th century Europe).
Some traditional stories aren’t as widely known, but more and more people learn about them, as more cultures now share their treasures online. Check out these traditional sand drawing stories from the Sona tribe, and more Ethnomathematics activity ideas from our Pinterest collection.
The good news is that math stories are growing very popular! People have probably created more child-friendly, accessible, fun math stories in the last ten years than in all the past history combined. Record a video or a podcast with your phone, or use computer storytelling tools like Scratch from MIT and see if your tale can become one of the viral hits online. Meanwhile, check out Vi Hart talking fast in Infinity Elephants (2.5 million views) or the visual tale of symmetry and fractals Cows & Cows & Cows by cyriak (33.5 million views).
Not all math stories are happy. When we hold meetings, many grown-ups share their math grief stories, telling of teaching disasters, crushed dreams, or quietly giving up on mathematics. If you have math grief, share your story with others. We need to hear what went wrong, to do better for the next generation. Natural Math “About” page has a short presentation by Maria Droujkova with several math grief stories – and ways to help children.
Why is math storytelling good for you? Here is a feature article from San Jose Mercury News. You can find more Math Storytelling Day resources at our blog.
We are expecting very heavy rain tomorrow, so the sculpture tour is postponed. We’ll let you know when we have a new date!
Dr. Maria Droujkova and the Natural Math crew
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