If you are a parent or a teacher reading this, you probably want to offer math activities that are full of joy and beauty. It may sound simple when you read blogs or books – a child’s play. Yes, give children blocks or patterns to play and have fun, use a few math words along the way, ask a question or two, and voila! – you have an amazing math adventure for your students or family!
The reality is often different. Our dark math past may hold us back from playing. Even if we manage to organize an open, joyful activity, we have this nagging feeling that it’s not advanced enough, not deep enough, not hard enough. If it’s not difficult and a bit painful, is it even real math?
This two-day online math circle will help you learn how to deal with both dangers. First, we will offer activities that can get you playing, give you the much-needed sense of ease. Next, you will learn to ask great questions and find bridges to more complex explorations within these now-familiar activities.
Easy Complexity is one of the seven Natural Math main principles, and the focus of this workshop. Your activities will be beautiful, funky papercraft from around the world. In easy ways, accessible to five-year-olds, you can use these activities to explore geometric transformations, algebraic groups, and calculus concepts such as infinity and limits.
Day One, online: Dr. Maria Droujkova and Shelley Nash help you learn about the concept of easy complexity, then experience the activities as a student. You ask questions, and prepare to share the activities with children. This activity is for grown-ups, though children are welcome to be around.
Between the meetings, local: You become the leader, and offer the activities to children, colleagues, or friends.
Day Two, online: Share your experience with others, get feedback on your activity and questions, and work together in small groups to plan your next activity for your family or students.
Dr. Maria Droujkova is a parent, curriculum developer, and mathematics education consultant. Maria brings together leaders in mathematics education, researchers, developers, parents, and teachers for projects and discussions of family mathematics, early algebra, individualized instruction, math games, and math clubs.
Shelley Nash is the homeschooling mom of seven amazing and challenging kids ages 13 to 1. For over 20 years, she has been driven by an insatiable desire to understand learning, education, education’s role in our society and personal development, and the role of technology in learning. She is passionate about letting children own their education and learning, and about discovering the elements that inspire learning in all of us.
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