Book Clubs and Community-Responsive Math Circles

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Hello, math friend! I’m Dr. Maria Droujkova, director of Natural Math and co-president of the Natural Math Alliance. Please write any time at if you have a question or would like to talk about learning advanced mathematics in kind ways. Meanwhile, here are some opportunities for learners of all ages to make math together.

Sue VanHattum and AltheaGeometry and Trig Reading Circle

Join an online math circle for students ages 12 to 15 in March and April. Participants will explore geometry, proof, and the basics of trigonometry. Sue VanHattum, editor of Playing With Math: Stories from Math Circles, Homeschoolers, and Passionate Teachers and life-long fan and teacher of math, is writing a new book series. In four young adult novels, Althea and her friends explore some of the mysteries of mathematics. We need folks to test the books out before publication.

In Althea and the Mysteries of Triangles, Circles, and Pi, Althea and friends, with the help of Althea’s mom, explore geometry and proof in order to then learn the basics of trigonometry. Sue will lead an online circle, in which participants will explore these mysteries along with Althea and her friends. Five to ten participants will join Sue for nine weekly sessions. The sessions form a deep and friendly math course as well as a unique book club, with the author refining the story based on student reactions.

Do you know any students who enjoy or want to enjoy math, know a bit of algebra, and want to volunteer as user testers? Invite them to check out the details and sign up!

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Sue Looney Reading To ChildrenK-6 Storybook

Here is an opportunity for anyone who loves puzzles and for K-6 learners to develop their number sense. Sue Looney is the author of Ying and the Magic Turtle – in this photo, she is reading her book in a classroom. Dr. Looney wrote another storybook based on a perplexing classic riddle. Sue writes:

I am in search of a handful of Beta Readers who will help me out as I finalize edits to my upcoming storybook. If you’re interested in reading my new math adventure with children, whether they are your own children or they are your students, drop me an email, and I will send you more information about what being a Beta Reader entails. You’ll be helping me improve my story, and you’ll be an important part of bringing my book to life. If this sounds fun to you, please reach out and let me know. Your feedback is invaluable!

Sue Looney signed with love

Beta Read a Storybook.

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Community-Responsive Math Circles: Get a Taste, Join, or Volunteer

For about 28 years, Natural Math has been designing and helping to organize math circles: informal learning spaces where people make mathematics their own. More recently, my colleagues developed a shared vision of community-responsive math circles. What does that mean?

Cary Math Circle January 2024

A community-responsive math circle focuses on the needs of a community and the benefits to participants and their families. It is accountable to the community it serves. We’ve been helping with diverse mathematical needs, from gathering materials for a mission to post-earthquake Türkiye to working with Diné (Navajo) teachers, mathematicians, and builders to define a set of geometric axioms embedded in the Hogan house traditions. One of the best parts? Many communities generously share their mathematical gifts! Get a taste and grab an activity you can try at home or in class. Want to participate, volunteer, or start a project for your community? Drop us a line and let’s talk.

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SPANISH Infinite Loops and Infinite Sequences - Family Math Circle - Natural Math - October 2023Spanish/English Family Math Circles in Cary, North Carolina

Children from multilingual families get huge math boosts if they do mathematics in all the languages spoken at home. Natural Math collaborates with the non-profit Semillas de Amor (Seeds of Love) in Cary, North Carolina, to organize a weekly math circle on Wednesday evenings. If you are in town and Spanish is one of your home languages, sign up here.

Download and Try:
Bucles Infinitos y Secuencias Infinitas | Infinite Loops and Infinite Sequences
These are 3-page PDF flyers in Spanish and English with activities for the whole family.

Bluebird Newsletter 48 - Fractal Dimension of Pomo BasketsBluebird Math Circle at the Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles

The mission of the Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles (AIMC) is to create mathematical opportunities for Indigenous students and to build community among math teachers of Indigenous students while respecting Indigenous culture. You are welcome to visit our online math circles and teacher events.

Download and Try:
Fractal Dimensions of Pomo Baskets
This is a 2-page PDF newsletter, school teacher guide, and colorful slides with activities at middle and high school levels.

Dihedral Groups and Snowflakes - Family Math Circle - Natural Math - January 2024Math Adventures for the Very Young and Their Families

Young children are open to mathematical work and play. What kind of math person can I be? What mathematical powers do I want? What flavors of mathematics do I prefer? Early math experiences can help children feel that they belong with math and that math belongs to them. They grow awe-struck with infinity, are amused by logical paradoxes, relax with tessellating patterns, and share their math passions in stories and art. Young math circles inspire grown-ups in two ways: to help their children learn and to restore their own relationships with mathematics. Yet only 5% of math circles recently surveyed by the National Association of Math Circles welcome five-year-old participants. We have one such rarity in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Check it out and join if you are in town.

Download and Try:
Dihedral Groups and Snowflakes
This is a 4-page PDF flyer with some group theory and algebra accessible for 5-year-old children and their young-at-heart math friends.

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Posted in Make & Grow, Newsletter

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