Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog Carnival over at Let's Play Math!

Hey y'all, I've been included in the "Math Teachers at Play" blog carnival over at Let's Play Math!

This particular carnival features "a smorgasbord of ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college" and is illustrated with some great examples of living math books.

I'm pretty excited to be included in my first math blog carnival but least you think I have my math act all together, let me assure you this is one big adventure I'm on.  My blog has been, and continues to be, a vehicle for me to figure out for myself what math is.  I've got a pretty firm grasp on the math we use in my program Math in Your Feet, but I'm a big picture person and I've always wanted to find a way to put our dance work firmly in context on the mathematics map.   I am also perpetually curious about how people teach math at an elementary level.

Luckily I've got a six year old daughter along for the ride.  I use her interests to frame my inquiry and, by working at the pace of a first grader, I am much less intimidated about re-learning math than I might be otherwise.  

Working with my daughter has actually been, to use a new math term I've recently learned, a kind of recursive, looping process.  She shows me, through her drawings, and conversations, and number play, how she is thinking and then I go find great resources like Let's Play Math, or Living Math, or Natural Math, or Love2Learn2Day, and see if I can figure out how to support and deepen her questioning.

In the process of finding a new math game or book for the kid I also find some new bit of information for myself about a math topic or an instructional approach or theory.  I spend part of my days with kid math and my nights reading everything I can get my hands on, from research studies about cognition in mathematics to books about archetypal relationships between mathematics, arts, science and nature.  Then I'll go to bed only to wake up to hear what my daughter's got going around her head, and the process cycles around again. 

I hope you will take some time to check out the Math Teachers at Play blog carnival!  If you are interested in doing and making more math with your own children or students it's really just as simple as finding an interesting math-y story book or game and going on from there.  My biggest lesson in the last year or so is that I don't have to know everything, I just need to keep asking questions!  That's really all there is to it.  Have fun!

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