WOW! Multiplication – an open course in September 2013

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This is the main page for the September 2013 course, WOW! Multiplication.

Registration is closed, but participants and friends of adventurous math can still support to our cause. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive information about future courses.

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September 10: Registration is closed at 220+ people. Participants are discussing their Math Circle plans for the next week

September 6: Course members are crowd-sourcing a great questionnaire on multiplication worries and dreams.

  • Why bother anyone with multiplication?
  • How best to teach multiplication so it lives and breathes in our world? 
  • Can we tell kids 2 groups of 3 are different than 3 groups of 2, or are they the same thing?
  • If kids do not memorize their times tables and do math in an inquiry-based way for years, does this hinder them when they enter more achievement-oriented math arenas later on? 
  • Do you think multiplication needs to be taught after mastery of addition and subtraction? (Spoiler: no). 

September 4: 125 people from 15 countries requested to register.

September 3: We have 88 registered participants. Welcome to math adventures!

Multiplication real tables

If you ever have any questions, email  Moby Snoodles at

Moby Snoodles

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About the course

  • Who: The course organizers are Dr. 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: In the first week of the course, we will discuss researcher-developed, parent-tested activities where multiplication is meaningful, beautiful, and fun. In the second week, you will gather your kids and their friends in a casual Math Circle, and then answer a few questions about the experience.
  • When: Sign up by September 8th. The main course activities will happen September 9th through 22nd. Expect to spend about two hours a week.
  • Where: Main course activities happen at our ask and tell hub. The page you are on now is updated with major links and news. There will be summary emails from the organizers. We will have two optional live meetings online, at the beginning and at the end of the course.
  • Why: Offer your kids math-rich play. Learn how to adapt the same concept for children of different ages, interests, and walks of life. Meet other adventurous parents and educators. Contribute to research in mathematics education.

As with most of our courses, we have adapted the activities for all ages from toddlers to adults. Where young ones go on a scavenger hunt for pretty snowflakes and cool truck wheels, older kids build bridges from multiplication to symmetry, spatial transformations, and proportions.

Combinations Model

WOW! Multiplication is a pilot study for a citizen science project for mathematics education. By actively participating in the course, you help us learn what support parents and teachers need to start informal Math Circles, and how to adapt materials for each learner’s unique needs. We are excited to invite you to contribute to original scientific research!

Ask and tell

Does my child need to have times tables memorized for this?
Some question if the tables need to be memorized at all! But definitely not for this course.

Can my toddler participate?
Yes, our courses are for parents and teachers of kids of all ages. We will have tips for adapting the activities for younger kids.

Can I participate if I don’t work with kids?
Yes, you can get some grown-up friends together for a Math Circle. Math adventures aren’t just for children! We have done these activities at parent and teacher workshops, as well as professional seminars and conferences.

What is the price and what resources will I need?
You need the internet to participate, and usual household objects (paper, markers, toys) to do math. We encourage you to invite friends for the Math Circle part, because it helps the friends and motivates your kids. We will provide open media about multiplication.

You will have an opportunity to support our cause by paying for this course, at the price you name, from zero to infinity.  The money supports Creative Commons open media,  the studies in family math, and our courses and workshops. Large donations and small contributions are all welcome! We honor everyone who contributes at the supporter page.

Multiplication Tower

What is citizen science?
Citizen science is research conducted by large groups of non-professionals, together with some scientists. In this course, participants will contribute to a pilot study in mathematics education. We are working on a tough question: How can mathematical topics be adapted to radically different students, mixed-age groups, and everybody’s diverse interests?

What is it all about?

  • Make your own math: DIY, agency, self-regulation, exploration
  • Play and let the kids play freely: spaces for exploration, research of what kids would do
  • Profound understanding of fundamental mathematics: connections of multiplication to more advanced topics
  • Not all who wander are lost: connections; sorting, classifying and mapping the big picture of math, big and deep ideas, inquiry, connections
  • Be the littlest kid: child leadership, 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
  • Growing your math eyes and seeing multiplication everywhere!

What activities will I do?

Week 1, September 9-15

  • What have you always wanted to know about multiplication? Contribute a question to the crowd-sourced questionnaire.
  • What are multiplication models? How many do my kids need? Which model do you use and when? A bit of ed theory!
  • Learn an awesome game for your kids and you.
  • Live event, questions and answers (attend online or watch the recording).

Week 2, September 16-22

  • Math Circles with kids and friends.
  • How did your Circle go? Reflections.
  • Live event, questions and answers (attend online or watch the recording).

Registration is closed, but participants and friends of adventurous math can still support to our cause.

This button only works with the latest version of Internet Explorer. Other browsers are fine.

12 comments on “WOW! Multiplication – an open course in September 2013
  1. Melissa says:

    Thank you for this class. I am really looking forward to it.

  2. Bea Reardon says:

    Sounds great! Looking forward to learning and participating.

  3. Suzanne Canevari says:

    Always up for trying new ways to get math-rich play going with my kids and friends

  4. Rodi Steinig says:

    I plan to participate in this with my 9-year-old daughter, Joanna.

  5. Hi Maria, I like what you are doing. Think about as you expand this open format course, that sometime in the future the possibility of doing a thread on folding circles. I do get tired of hearing the circle being used metaphorically with no interest in exploring what so far is considered only shape to identify and a means for 2-D construct and designing. I would be interested to talk with you about the possibilities of doing something together along these lines. Brad

  6. michael kelly says:

    I will be working with Group of lower ability / special needs year 5 children in the East E end of London where many children are Bengali speakers with English as second language And parents who have have limited experience of schooling themselves

  7. jude says:

    I will try this, and if I find it helpful, then I will donate $20.

  8. Sally Hinton says:

    Hi Maria,

    I am looking forward to the class. Nadia is 5 and I am starting over again. Hopefully, a little wiser this time :)

    Sally Hinton

  9. Janice Westlake says:

    Looking for ways to make math fun for an unschooler early teen who has no desire to memorize multiplication tables and a mom have no desire to make him do it!

    • Jeremy Vyska says:

      Hey Janice,

      Not to make a crazy assumption about a male teen in 2013, but Minecraft is incredibly popular. So, use that! Give building layouts, like blueprints, and then have him review the blueprints and figure out the quantities required. You end up doing a lot of math: let’s see, I need 40 brick, 15 glass, and 12 glowstone per wall, there are 12 walls, so how many stacks of each will I need?

      Then bump the challenge way up and make the challenge to build a calculator in MC using redstone. It’s possible, and tough! Give him a proof sheet to fill in show the machine can do the results.

  10. Alahyo says:

    This sounds AbFab! Will you be offering this open course again anytime soon? I actually started an interactive multiplication digital course with my 6 (almost 7) yr old today. Pretty good so far, but this seems MUCH better, and I think he would find it to be more engaging! Hoping that you are. Nice work!

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