1.a What did you do in math today?
Imagine children sharing with family and friends about school math experiences just as they might with a favourite book or a good movie.
Imagine children also sharing their math experiences by telling math stories through drama and song.
This is exactly what children are doing in our project classrooms.
1.b Designing math worth talking about
Classroom math activities are based on two principles. First, children need to experience mathematics that is worth talking about. We design activities that have a low mathematical floor (requiring minimal math knowledge for engagement) and a high mathematical ceiling (so ideas can be extended to more complex concepts and representations), and offer children opportunities for experiencing mathematical surprise. We use children's literature so students connect emotionally to the mathematics explored.
Second, we help children develop arts-based communication skills for telling good math stories, through drama and song.
1.c Sharing and celebrating math experiences
The poster below imagines a world where mathematics is alive in the world and is communicated emotionally and artistically as is the case with other human experience. The poster on the subway wall also advertises the public concert planned for 26 May 2012, where Joy of X will be joined by Bob Hallett (Great Big Sea), Tracy Bone and J.C. Campbell.
Mathematician and author Manil Suri (University of Maryland Baltimore) visited St. Andrews Public School in Toronto and took questions from students and parents at the school's Math Community Evening, where young students shared their classroom learning with family, firends, and the wider community.
2.a Let's paint a math story!
Below is an artistic representation of "Math performance." Artistically rendered by Ann Langeman (Faculty of Education, UWO). Designed by George Gadanidis. You can see this painting at the Fields Institute, Toronto, Ontario.