mpsMOOC13: Problem Solving for the Young, the Very Young, and the Young at Heart

Share Button

This is the main page for the July 2013 course, mpsMOOC13: Problem Solving for the Young, the Very Young, and the Young at Heart. Most tasks took place at our question and answer hub.

If you ever have any questions, email  Moby Snoodles at

Moby Snoodles



About the course

  • Who: The course organizers are Dr. James TantonDr. Maria Droujkova, and Yelena McManaman. The course participants are families, math clubs, playgroups, and other small circles casually exploring adventurous mathematics with kids of any age.
  • What: We will adapt ten math problems to be widely accessible, try them with kids, report the results online, and help analyze the reports. You can report in video, audio, or text with pictures.
  • When: Sign up by July 3 and finish prep tasks by July 7, 2013. The main course activities will happen July 7th through July 28th. Expect to spend about two hours a week on course-related fun.
  • Where: This page is updated with major links and news. Main course activities happen at the mpsMOOC13 question and answer hub. There are two summary emails per week from the organizers.  Before the course, each participant has a live meeting with an organizer on Skype, Google+, Facebook or the video conference platform of your choice. Use the #mpsMOOC13 tag when you write about the course on your blog or news stream so that we can find your posts.
  • Why: Offer your kids math-rich play. Learn how to adapt the same mathematical problem for children of different ages, interests, and walks of life. Meet other adventurous parents and educators. Participate in making a high-quality, open license book (the previous course’s book: Moebius Noodles). Contribute to research in mathematics education.


Quick syllabus

Before July 7: sign-up and preparation

  • Sign-up interview (Skype or Google+): What are your math dreams for your kids?
  • Prepare micro-plans: problems 1, 2, 3

Week 1, July 8-14

  • Do and report: stories about problems 1, 2, 3
  • Prepare micro-plans: problems 4, 5, 6
  • Sort and analyze the data in reports

Week 2, July 15-21

  • Do and report: problems 4, 5, 6
  • Prepare micro-plans: problems 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Sort and analyze the data in reports

Week 3, July 22-28

  • Do and report: problems 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Sort and analyze the data in reports

Exit question

  • What did you and others do to adapt problems?


Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child need to count well, remember times tables, and so on?

Not at all. There are no prerequisites. We will help you adjust problems for any skill level; for very young kids, but also for adolescents.

What resources will I need for this course?

You need the internet to participate, and usual household objects (paper, markers, toys) to do math. We will provide free, open media to support the course.

Can I get a certificate after completing this course?

Yes, you will receive a digital certificate of participation from the course authors and our mascot Moby Snoodles, the math-loving whale.

Can I participate if I don’t work with kids at the moment?

You need to work with at least one more person to do course activities. A friend, a significant other, or a colleague – of any age – will work splendidly. Think of the experience as a book club, a teacher circle, or a parent night out.

What is citizen science?

Citizen science is research conducted by large groups of individuals outside the field together with some specialists in the field. In this course, participants will contribute to a pilot study in mathematics education. We will tackle a tough question: How can mathematical topics be adapted to radically different students, mixed-age groups, and everybody’s diverse interests?

What is a mini-MOOC?

A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course with interactive participation and open access. Our course uses all our favorite design principles of MOOCs, such as aggregating free information, and remixing participants’ ideas. In addition, we aim for a connected and personal experience for every participant. That’s why we announce our courses in highly relevant communities, talk to every participant as a part of the sign-up, and provide much personal support along the way. We also keep the course short enough for everybody to be able to participate in all the activities. To summarize, ours is a cozy, short and sweet MOOC.

What is it all about?

  • Make your own math: DIY, agency, self-regulation, exploration
  • Play and let the kids play freely: spaces for exploration, self-regulation, agency
  • Not all who wander are lost: connecting, sorting, classifying and mapping the big picture of math, big and deep ideas, inquiry
  • Be the littlest kid: child leadership, child agency, adults as fellow explorers
  • Make and share stories: continuity, adding valor and adventure to kids’ actions, research and reflection on the data in the stories, helping others learn from your experiences

How do I sign up?

Email us at to get started.

4 comments on “mpsMOOC13: Problem Solving for the Young, the Very Young, and the Young at Heart
  1. mathmom says:

    About what ages of kids are you targeting?

  2. please send me information on the math program.

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "mpsMOOC13: Problem Solving for the Young, the Very Young, and the Young at Heart"
  1. […] in some math fun that encourages some great learning, you will want to check out this site– Moebius Noodles: Math Adventures. It is all about problem solving for the young, the very young, and the young at heart! There will […]

  2. […] mpsMOOC13: Problem Solving for the Young, the Very Young, and the Young at Heart […]

  3. […] this year, but I am doing math at home.  I am participating in the MOOC/citizen science project “Problem Solving for the Young, the Very Young, and the Young at Heart,” organized by James Tanton, Maria Droujkova, and Yelena McManaman.  I am also working with Sue […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.