This question was **closed** Dec 07, 2013 at 05:43 PM by Maria Droujkova for the following reason: The course is over.

Enrollment is now open for the mathematical problem solving course #mpsMOOC13 The last day to enroll is July 7, 2013. Details at: [
http://www.moebiusnoodles.com/mpsmooc13/][1] ![alt text][2] To sign up, log in at this site, and answer these questions. Then schedule a short video or voice conference at: [
http://mobysnoodles.youcanbook.me/][3] Question 1. Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What do you like to do? What games or puzzles do you play? How did you hear of this course? Do you have a site or a blog? Question 2. Tell us about the kids (or the grown-up members of your circle). Who are they? What do they like to do? What are their individual peculiarities? How old are they? Question 3. Tell us about your expectations. What is one thing you want from the course? Question 4. This course has three goals: 1. To help participants and their kids learn, 2. To make a book about problem-solving, and 3. To do research in mathematics education. Do you commit to adapt the ten problems, try them with local kids, report the results online, and analyze the reports? P.S. Scroll down to the answer box: ![Answer box][4] [1]:
http://www.moebiusnoodles.com/mpsmooc13/ [2]: /storage/temp/36-mpsmooc13_banner2.jpg [3]:
http://mobysnoodles.youcanbook.me/ [4]: /storage/temp/69-answerbox.png

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Maria Droujkova

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Best Answer

**Answer** by ccross
·
Nov 29, 2013 at 02:55 PM

**Question 1:** I am a long-term homeschooler. I'm an "arts and humanities" person, rather than a "math and science" person, so my math instruction is always a bit challenging for me. My favorite activities, besides teaching and just hanging out with people, are reading, viewing and/or doing art, and during the summer, going to outdoors concerts for all kinds of different music. The games or puzzles I play are usually more words-based or conceptual. I heard about this course first from Maria herself, and then from the Moby Snoodles newsletter. At this point, I have two blogs:
http://teachingyourmiddleschooler.blogspot.com and
http://teachingyourhighschooler.blogspot.com. **Question 2.** I have one son who is 14 and who has always been homeschooled. His mind is a lot like mine; even more right-brained than I am, and very words-focused (although he is also a much better visualizer than I am). He, too, is more arts and humanities-oriented, and considers math to be his worst subject. However, while he still struggles sometimes with basic computation, he actually does very well at higher-order math, such as problem-solving and algebraic concepts. His favorite thing to do is to draw, but he also loves reading and really enjoys puns and word play, which he often discusses on his blog,
http://themadisonainblog.blogspot.com. **Question 3.**I have two primary objectives for this MOOC. Now that my son is older, he mainly does his math through an online curriculum. However, I am looking for ways to spice that up with other hands-on or more interesting and more varied ways of developing his math skills. I'm also interested in the concept of problem-solving in general. There is a company here in Cary, NC (where I live) that has developed a set of graphic organizers called "Thinking Maps" that they show teachers and students how to apply to all disciplines--writing, history, math, science, etc. I thought it was interesting that while we often use graphic organizers for, say, language arts, I hadn't seen them used much for math. So I'm interested in how the problem-solving technique here might lend themselves to those thinking maps and the extent to which the approach to these math problems could be transferred to other disciplines. Not knowing the specifics, they might not be transferable, which would be fine; however, that is something I will be looking at while I'm doing the MOOC. **Question 4.**I commit to the requirements for participation.

Carol, one of the things I discovered as a result of working with Maria is how much math can be hidden in books - in the details, in the plots, and in the illustrations. I have not heard of "Thinking Maps". Are they mind maps? It would be very interesting to try mind mapping the course problems with the kids!

No, they are graphic organizers for interdisciplinary problem-solving and thought or content organization. See them at:
http://thinkingmaps.com/thinking_maps_common_core.php . The company is based here in Cary, NC.

Ah, I just checked them out. I'd love to see how they can be used in this course! Ooh, and I think I'll use the Bridge map in one of the games for sure ;)

**Answer** by bweiss
·
Jul 08, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Q1. I am a homeschool mom of three (15, 10, 10), a "retired" physics teacher, currently a physics education researcher working with a group at UC Davis, studying how children learn in a very on-the-ground way. I'm trying to fit in this mini-MOOC between our family mission trip to Panama and summer music workshops. My children play viola, cello and violin, and I'm the family accompanist on the piano. I play "try to keep the household going and everyone happy while everyone does something different", and every now and then join a family game of Settlers of Catan, PIT, or Rook, the shorter the better because there's always something I have to run off to do. My husband is really good about sitting down to play games with our children, and I'm grateful, because much of life can be practiced through play: risks, failure, success, losing & winning graciously. I heard of this course via Maria's post, I think it was on Living Math. Q2. My daughter, 15, plays the viola, dances ballet, loves to exercise, then settle down with a good book, and has only just begun to think math might be fun. She's been working through Jacobs' Algebra, and thinks it's better than Sudoku (which she doesn't like). My sons, 10, are currently engaged in Kapla block building. They go back and forth between Kapla wars and Lego building. One plays the cello, reads to relax, and seeks math puzzles for fun. The other plays the violin, reads voraciously, and is very quick with math, but thinks he's not very good at it because it takes work. Q3. I'm hoping for a couple of good ideas that will spark an interest in my less math-crazy children. I'm hoping they/we will come up with at least one thing that helps someone else find math fun and intriguing. Q4. Yes. That is my plan.

**Answer** by Viktor Freiman
·
Jul 08, 2013 at 07:37 PM

Question 1 Hello, I'm living in the Atlantic Canada; teach undergrad and grad educational courses including math education. I do a lot of projects with local schools on mathematics enrichment. I think all students can learn more math and deeper than any curriculum and have fun. My goal is to share this with everyone who is concerned with math ed. Question 2 The age I work with is elementary school (K-8) - mostly from small communities (rural and urban); French linguistic minority. Very bright kids, most of them like math and easily respond to rich and amusing activities. But could underperform when stressed with tests and marks. Question 3 I'm looking for innovative ways to teach and learn math in enjoyable athmoshphere where riour is important but not the final and only goal. I'd like to find a way to develop high level mathematical culture in all. Question 4. Yes I can try to do my best.

**Answer** by Ehsan
·
Jun 21, 2013 at 08:14 PM

Question 1. I have done my MBA in Finance, however, presently work for a science center by the name of Prince Salman Science Oasis (PSSO) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the last 11 years as a program manager. I enjoy working with kids. We offer different scientific programs and activities at the science center for the kids. You can access our website,
www.psso.org.sa I want to initiate a math program in the science center. Lately, my interest has inclined towards math, especially, due to the involvement with my own kids. Your website was recommended to me by Caroline Mukisa who owns Maths Insider during my quest to initiate a math program for kids at PSSO. My present goal is to erase the fear and alienation towards maths amongst the present generation. This could be done so, in my humble opinion, by employing the presently available abundant resources that make the learning fun! Question 2. My own kids are in 7th grade, 5th grade, 2nd grade, 1st grade, and kindergarten - 5 kids. Additionally, there is a great number of kids who visit the science center, who differ in their interest and potential. Question 3. My most important expectation is to eradicate the fear I'd myself developed about math as a child from other kids, commencing from my very own kids. Working with my kids I've witnessed that things that appeared alien to me when I was a kid with respect to math, in reality are not so. I want my kids to develop a liking towards the subject! Question 4. As a matter of fact, I'm rather eager to get involved in such an initiative and try to return back to society of what it had offered me. InshAllah, I will try my best to work with my kids on the said ten problems.

Ehsan, much like yourself I became interested in early math thanks in large part to my child. I think many parents "return" to math through their children. So it's like a second chance for some (definitely for me). What's really cool to me is that it seems as adults we recognize that math is a social activity and are very interested in joining or even organizing math clubs, math groups, math circles or just math-filled playdates for our children.

Yelenam, you've rightly put that many parents "return" to math through their children and surely, I'm with you in the same boat! It's really wonderful to comprehend what was feared once upon a time duirng my school days. It appears to be so very simple and interesting too. Just a couple of days back I was viewing this video on youtube that showed how one could multiply from 6 X 6 to 10 X 10 using the fingers. How I wished I would become a kid again and exploit the prevalent abundant resources that were absent in those times.

**Answer** by ganesh.tantri
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Jul 07, 2013 at 01:11 AM

Q.1 Me and My wife live in South India.I am in to agriculture and my wife home school's or two childreen aged 7.5 yrs and 5.5 yrs.I have been passionate about the subject "Learning" and have been reading voraciously on the psychological,cognitive,neuro science aspects of learning.We have also been applying a lot of that stuff.One idea we are convinced is that children learn any concept if presented righlty.We got more confidence from the moebius noodles book. Q.2. My two boys are two high energy beings they love to play spiderman,temple run on ipad.Since they are homeschooled they try their hands on everything from music to martial art.They read a lot,are able to grasp a lot of concepts put forward in a manner that interests them.Great memory they were able to memorise the periodic table.They understood digestive sytem,skeletal system etc., Q.3 . we have been looking for innovative platform he help our kids to "think Matematically" I was inspired by a talk i saw on the youtube by Conard Wolfram of Wolfram Alpha who started his speech saying math is not about solving problems,computers can do that better,we need to educate our kids to think mathematically.We use websites like
IXL.COm though my eldest has solved around 22,500 problems in that website,his overall understanding of concepts is only skin deep. Q.4 I commit to those conditions.Let explore the unexplored.

**Answer** by ali_qasimpouri
·
Jun 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM

1. Yesterday I found that I'm a mathematical designer! exploring and representing "wonder" of mathematics ... I'm from Iran. I'm interested in computational thinking and TRIZ. I worry about human resource crisis. I mean wasting of talents... I heard about this course from [NaturalMath] group. My favorite games are Sudoku and Qouridor. 2. My students are two brothers. one is in 6th-grade and the older one is in 10th-grade. 3. I want complete achievement and reproducibility of "Why" statement of this course. 4. That's why I'm here! Math ed heroes, thank you for reading my answers!

**Answer** by syedajaveria
·
Jul 05, 2013 at 04:22 AM

1.Hi! I am a post graduate in applied electronics but has completed my graduation in specialization with mathematics and physical sciences both,worked as a lecturer in engineering and PG college, now associated with a science center in Riyadh, KSA and worked with the same organisation two years back on entrepreneurial program with kids of different age groups.This season our science center called Prince Salman Science Oasis (PSSO) plan to initiate a maths program which is like a dream come true for me because basically I am a mathematician and was a maths tutor during my college years.I got to know about this course from my program manager at PSSO. Mostly I play fruit ninja, solve Sudoku and maths related puzzles in my free time. My individual view about mathematics is that it is in itself a big ocean of different vast topics and I want to explore this subject to kids in the most easiest,simple and facile way by enrolling myself with present program where I could learn to teach maths in more exciting and interesting manner. 2.I have three kids and the elder one is of 6 years old, who is good in maths and other subjects as well but I want to show him the subject with new and funny methods that he should always enjoy doing maths. And the other are too young to even understand the "M" of maths and unknown about the fact that there is maths in their innocent games.But there are many students at science center with new and young ideas.
3.My individual motto to join this course to learn and explore maths,and represent the subject in a most convincing way that a child should over come his or her phobia towards maths, have fun in doing maths and apply simple methods of maths in his academic and day to day life which would boost his confidence. 4.Inshallah I would surely give my best and try to solve given problems with the kids involved.

**Answer** by mamaof3creates
·
Jul 04, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Question 1. Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What do you like to do? What games or puzzles do you play? How did you hear of this course? Do you have a site or a blog? I am a HS mom of three children (9, 6 and almost 3 year old). I love to bake, create with my hands, and make science experiments. I enjoy getting out as much as possible and organizing field trips, fairs, or whatever outing my kids are interested in but doesn't exist yet. Unfortunately, I don't really play that many games for myself but I will with my kids. Question 2. Tell us about the kids (or the grown-up members of your circle). Who are they? What do they like to do? What are their individual peculiarities? How old are they? My two oldest are boys and they energetic and fun. They both play hockey and swim - a lot! But but they also like Minecraft and Lego - a lot! The oldest is auditory learner and picks up everything quiet easily and enjoys the process of learning. The younger boy is a kinesthetic learner, who takes a little longer to grasp concepts and struggles with the learning process. The youngest is my almost three year old who tries to do everything my youngest boy does. She's eager to try to learn along side him. Question 3. Tell us about your expectations. What is one thing you want from the course? I would love to learn techniques to make math easily approachable for the various types of learners that I have in my home. Question 4. This course has three goals: 1. To help participants and their kids learn, 2. To make a book about problem-solving, and 3. To do research in mathematics education. Do you commit to adapt the ten problems, try them with local kids, report the results online, and analyze the reports? Yes!

**Answer** by andyklee
·
Jun 21, 2013 at 07:35 AM

1. I've had a lifelong interest in math and math education--ranging from majoring in mathematics at University, to teaching elementary school 39 years ago, to starting a local math camp for middle schoolers as a volunteer, three years ago. I enjoy researching and putting together hands-on lesson plans for the camp. The camp website is
http://www.YoungMathWizards.com. As time allows, I hope to offer the camp curriculum and organizational strategies to other groups and school districts at no charge. 2. I have a pool of 40 recent graduates from the last two Math Camp sessions to draw from for this course. They are almost all very interested in learning math and have pretty solid math skills. They range in age from 10-15. 3. I hope to learn some new teaching techniques, especially ideas for encouraging open ended small group work, and also new curriculum ideas that I can incorporate into future math camp lessons. 4. I will definitely participate fully in all the goals and objectives as outlined above.

**Answer** by Ines
·
Jun 20, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Question 1. I am a secondary math and science teacher. When I'm not teaching I spend my time playing with my two kids ages 4 and 5. They mainly like constructing with building blocks, working on art projects, and now that it's summer - playing outside. I heard about the course through James Tanton's posting on twitter. Question 2. My two kids will be participating in the course. The five year old is starting kindergarten in the fall. I have been teaching him math concepts through games and puzzles which he has enjoyed. At the moment he's very interested in the idea of infinity. The four year old copies everything her big brother does. Some of their friends might be joining us some of the weeks. Question 3. I'm looking forward to learning new approaches to teaching math, both for my own children and for my classroom. Question 4. I agree and look forward to participating in this project.

One of the problems has to do with the ideas of infinity, zero and other extremes. The extremes fascinate kids!

Thanks for following on twitter! I hope mathematical creativity swells galore from this experience, both for your studies and play with your children and in your high-school teaching.

**Answer** by dendari
·
Jun 20, 2013 at 08:59 PM

Question 1. I am a math teacher turned tech integration specialist. I spend most of my time reading and writing about education on my blog
http://www.philosophywithoutahome.com/blog/ When not doing that I coach whatever sports the kids are playing at the moment. When the invintation to the course came through the Moebiusnoodles newsletter I jumped at the chance to join up. Question 2. My wife and my two sons will join us on this adventure. She likes black and white movies. The 8 year old spends about 2 hours a day on Minecraft and the 6 year old kind of follows his lead. He just doesn’t have as much stamina for the Minecraft. The older son is very polite and sociable, but his little brother tends to be more independent but reserved. Question 3. I expect to see a lot of math in unexpected places. Question 4. I agree and look forward to the learning experience.

**Answer** by Rodi.Steinig
·
Jun 19, 2013 at 10:23 PM

**Question 1:** I am a long-time homeschooler and math teacher who has been leading math circles in Philadelphia for the past 2 years. I like to spend times in the outdoors. Games I like include soccer, scrabble, jigsaw puzzles, and collaborative improvisational storytelling. I heard of this project from the Moebius Noodles site. I blog about math circles here:
http://talkingsticklearningcenter.org/category/math-circle-blog/. **Question 2:** The kids in my circle for the summer are my 2 kids, one going into 4th grade and one going into 9th. I am hoping that they will each have a friend over to do the activities. Both of my girls have strong conceptual understandings of mathematical reasoning, but are often inefficient in problem solving. The older one is interested in becoming a mathematician and/or math circle leader herself, possibly, and wants exposure to as much non-traditional math education as possible, and has friends who really like math. The younger one needs exposure to math beyond arithmetic, and has a few friends who hate math. **Question 3**: I want the opportunity to work with Drs. Droujkova and Tanton. The work of both of them has greatly informed my teaching, and I hope that more of their mojo will rub off onto me via this course. **Question 4**: Yes, I commit to all 4 tasks described.

**Answer** by Caryn Trautz
·
Jun 19, 2013 at 08:23 PM

**Question 1:** I am a special education middle school math teacher. I am a self-proclaimed technology nerd and math geek. I love finding new ways to engage my students with technology. I heard about this course through a blog I read (can't remember which one, sorry). I just started to blog - I wrote an end of the year summary of my first year with iPads to get started and I plan to continue to blog in September. **Question 2:** My students that I will be working with are the kids I have for summer school. They are special ed and they are going into 6th grade in the fall. **Question 3:** I am hoping to find new ways to teach problem solving to my students. This is always a difficult task for special education students, and if I can help them learn some new strategies, that would be great! **Question 4:** I will definitely try the ten problems with my students and report back!

**Answer** by David Wees , Father. Activist. Canadian. Educational technology consultant. Math & Science teacher. Geek & Skeptic. On TEDxKIDSBC & Edcamp Vancouver planning teams.
·
Jun 19, 2013 at 06:16 PM

**Question 1:** I'm a Canadian mathematics educator, interested in exploring new ways of engaging teachers, parents and their children in mathematics. I like to build mathematical representations using computer code, and unique ways for children to access mathematical thinking in a variety of different mediums. **Question 2:** I have two sons, one of whom is 6 years old, and other of whom is just a little bit more than a year old. My eldest son likes everything he has learned about math so far, and I'm hoping to enrich his understanding of what it is to do mathematics. He especially loves building and making things. **Question 3:** I'm really hoping to find out ways we can use this incredible tool, the Internet, to reach parents and children and have them see mathematics in a different way. I'm hoping that from my participation in this course, I can come away with ideas in how I can work with parents and their children in other ways. **Question 4:** I do so commit, and in my role as a Mathematics program developer, I'm sure I can find ways to use these problems locally.

**Answer** by Denise Gaskins
·
Jun 19, 2013 at 05:50 PM

**Question 1.** I'm a long-time homeschooler, and most of my kids are now grown. I like to read (ideal vacation: an enormous library, complete with a comfy chair by the fireplace), and I like to play around with math ideas -- for instance, I think Tanton's *Math Without Words* is great! I heard about this course through Moby's newsletter. And I have a blog at [
letsplaymath.net][1]. **Question 2.** So far, the only guinea pig I have found for sure is my youngest daughter, age 14. She has a good understanding of math up to about algebra 1, but what she really loves is reading and writing fantasy fiction. I'm trying to get a group of her friends together, but they are all so busy in the summer, and I haven't heard back from anyone yet. I've been getting questions from friends at church with K-1st grade youngsters they are considering homeschooling. I think I may try to gather up a group of them to meet for "math playgroup in the park" -- Will the projects will be adaptable for something like that, out in the breeze and with limited supplies? This would be my first time trying to do a math circle with little kids rather than middle school, so I'm a bit nervous about how I will adjust to that. But if all else fails, we can always take a nature walk! **Question 3.** I'm looking forward to creative ways of looking at math. So far, everything I've seen from the three course organizers has been inspirational, so even though I don't really know what to expect, I'm sure it will be great! **Question 4.** I'll do my best to participate fully. Even if neither of my potential groups work out, my daughter and I can try the problems ourselves and report in. [1]:
http://letsplaymath.net/

Denise, we will work together on adapting the course activities for the young playgroup in the park! And yes, plan B (or maybe the Plan A follow-up?) can be a math scavenger hunt on a nature walk.

I am very much looking forward to seeing what folk,like you!, come up with from this experience. Exciting things will happen me thinks!

**Answer** by ckklauzer
·
Jul 04, 2013 at 10:09 AM

1. I am a Mother of three boys, I have been a stay at home mom at first now I drive school bus.I love to do games and all kinds of puzzles. I like the ones that you have to think about first than solve.I read allot, do all kinds of crafts,and anything outdoors, camping hiking ,etc. 2. My first two are 30& 27. My oldest is a firefighter in the Air Force. Next is my son who is a police officer.They both love to read and did great in school. My youngest is 9 and wants to to everything his own way,and the school system is not working. So we are going to be home schooling him. 3. I would like to get my son excited about learning. to want to find out what makes things work. 4.yes

**Answer** by ChrisYu
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Jul 04, 2013 at 02:47 AM

1 Math was something that came very natural to me growing up. After having a couple kids, and remembering how *poor* my own experience in school, made me want to do something about it. I got into teaching a few years ago, love it. End of this month I'll start teaching math at the secondary level. I love games and puzzles and anything with strategy, but now I more meta. I'm not obsessed about games and puzzles as I was when I was younger, but I'm just curious to see innovations in new games. 2 A daughter, 8 and son 4. Typical kids, my daughter is into anything horse or pony related, and my son is into Star Wars, and Mario. Also I have a bunch of nieces and nephews. 3 My hope make some positive changes on how kids are educated math wise, spread the word about enlightened math, destroy Kumon. 4 Yes

**Answer** by acmemomma
·
Jul 03, 2013 at 09:23 PM

#1 - I am homeschooling momma to four, only 2 are "in school" but the younger two are always along for the ride. I am nurse, with a degree in business, as well. I love to read, just about anything, but these days it seems almost everything I read is homeschooling or learning related. I love to play Sudoku, crosswords (rarely do them though), logic puzzles and make pretty things. I don't have a blog, but have been considering it, mostly as a way to document our learning adventures. I learned about this course through Let's Play Math blog. #2 - My oldest, is a 7.5 years old girl. She is fantastic reader and is great with math, unless she feels under pressure to go fast. She loves to draw. She is ADHD inattentive type, so has to be really interested in something to be able to focus on it without constant redirection. My 2nd daughter is 5.5 years old and wants to do what her big sis is doing. She is quick to pick up on things and has a fantastic memory. She loves to ask questions, mostly ones she already knows the answers to. :/ My younger two, 3.5 and 15 months, are into everything and soaking it all up! #3 - I want to make math come alive and show how interesting it can be. Math isn't just doing problems on a worksheet. #4 - Yep!!

**Answer** by RosieL52
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Jul 02, 2013 at 11:55 PM

Question 1. I am a HS math teacher and mother of two boys (ages 6 and 4). I like doing almost anything outdoors (hiking, birding, gardening, running), origami, sewing/knitting, and reading. Our family likes to play games like Set (modified), Blokus (also modified), Rummikub, Cribbage, Qwirkle, Chess, Boggle. I can't remember if I heard about this course via Twitter or someone's blog, but it was one of the two. I am working on getting a blog started but all I have so far is a name... Question 2. My kids will be my circle. The older one will be 7 in August and will be going into 2nd grade. He loves to read (constantly) and loves birds and birding (he's read a few field guides cover-to cover). He doesn't like "math" because he thinks that math = arithmetic speed tests, but he likes to figure things out that involve money and he likes puzzles (including tangram-type puzzles). Shh, don't tell him that _is_ math... The younger child is 4 (October birthday). He's into pretty much everything, but not as intensely into any one thing the way his brother is. He likes to figure things out. He likes bugs and plants. Question 3. With so much downtime in the summer I would like some more ideas for ways to do math with my kids that is nothing like those speed tests my older one brings home practice for. Question 4. I will absolutely commit to trying 10 problems. I suspect I will adapt different ones for each child. I'm looking forward to sharing the results and seeing what others do with the work.

**Answer** by Silina
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Jul 02, 2013 at 08:50 PM

1. I am a homeschooled kid, and almost 12. I like to play Agricola, and chess. I like to go to the park, and go fishing. I have heard about this course from Moebius noodles. 2. My mom is 37 and my little sister is 21 months old who will be my assistants. They like to read and drink tea, other from that they are pretty mysterious. 3. To do something meaningful with my sister and may be get some boost from the course to start my project on a flying machine for humans. 4. Yes, I do. I will try to find some kids who want to help and do the problems with me.

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