Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A List

Mathematical aesthetics. 
I had heard about the beauty of mathematics, but I never really understood what that meant.  Now, I think I'm 'getting it'; not with numbers, but definitely on a visual level.  Sue VanHattum from Math Mama Writes posted this video called Doodling in Math Class: Infinity Elephants.  When I watched it something just clicked for me. 

More pictures of tape in action.
I've got this idea in my head to find as many examples of tape being put on the floor (or wherever) to further a child's learning, or to change an environment to promote exploration of space.  Send me yours!
Heading toward the front left diagonal!
Find new music and dance to it. 
Always on the look out for a great tune.

Gestures and embodied cognition in mathematics learning. 
After reading research findings about this, I've been more aware of how people move their hands while talking, especially when they're trying to describe a procedure or a design.  A friend was describing a plaid shirt in her closet; her hands moved across the front of her body horizontally and vertically while she said the word 'plaid'.   

Clear the mind.
Find new music and dance to it.  Better yet, I'm teaching kids next week!  There's nothing like a class of moving fifth graders to keep one in the present moment.

Building an icosahedron by folding paper plates. 
How many paper plates will it take?  I've made a two-frequency tetrahedron so far, which is four plates.  The reason I'm interested is that I've read that Labanotation (a method for notating dance movements and choreography) was created by visualizing the human body inside an icosahedron. 
This is actually an open icosahedron
Van Hiele Levels of Geometric Reasoning. 
Is this useful to me as a dance teacher teaching math?  I teach a lot of geometry.  I think the kinds of questioning employed that are intended to help move children from level 0 to level 2 might be helpful.  Need to look into it more.
Learn how to teach math with Cuisenaire Rods using daughter as guinea pig.  
I wish my math education had consisted of these, but I can re-learn math as I teach my own daughter.  These unit blocks are great for developing a real sense of what numbers mean, but when when you grow tired of that focus, you can use them in other ways!  I drew a line of symmetry and made up a game where one person puts down a rod, and the other person 'reflects' it on the other side of the line.  In this case my daughter led and I followed, but you could take turns in any number of ways.  Maria Droujkova from Natural Math posted some very interesting, videos of kids using these rods.

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