Friday, October 8, 2010

Looking Back Before I Start Moving Forward

From the first version of the Math in Your Feet Website back in 2004, under "Notes from the Artist":

April 12-16, 2004 was an exciting week for me.  The idea for this new program, Math In Your Feet has been germinating since I developed my first arts in education program, Rhythm & Dance (now called Drum With Your Feet!) back in 1997.  Over the years, as I gained experience working students, identified the what was important to me about my art form, and created study guides and extension activities to help solidify the dance and social studies concepts within my residency, I could just tell there was math in there somewhere, and the idea excited me.

I always wanted to understand math but there was only one time in my entire life where I actually did.  It was during my senior year in high school, in pre-calculus.  It was a grey day in western Oregon and I was sitting over my textbook completely confused. My teacher came over to help me, and all of a sudden I felt as if the sun was shining over me, full and bright -- I had grasped the larger meaning.  But in a moment, the clouds came back.  Over the years, I have held onto that experience, and used it as a beacon, knowing that there was hope that one day I would, and could, "get it".  

On Day Two of this first pilot week of Math In Your Feet! I wrote in my notes, "I can see the excitement in the kids when they see what they already know [about math] being used in this new situation."  That's what Math In Your Feet is: A crossroads, connecting previously unrelated ideas together to create a place of deep understanding, if even if for a moment.

In my mind, the connections are everywhere.  Thinking and dreaming and problem solving can occur using any language, whether it be spoken, or in your feet using the pattern of rhythm and movement, or in math.  At the end of this pilot week, one girl said to me, "I didn't like math, and I still don't, but I like it more."  I believe she "got it" this week -- that at some level, I was her ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy part of her mind labeled "math."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...