Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: An Amazing Year

I've been looking back on a year's worth of posts and it is amazing to me how much math my daughter and I have done, both individually and collectively.

We've gone on math walks, grown our math eyes, read books, talked math, played math, made our own math games and, especially, built our math understanding one piece of chalk, pipe cleaner, straw, woven paper strip, camera snap, colored pencil, bead, craft stick, scissor, clover, flower petal and glue stick at a time.  Here are the top posts for 2012, but for every one in this list there are many, many more just as important to me (even if less read):

1. Solids and an Observation on Scale

2. Beading Attributes: Pattern, Color Shape, Size and...Straws!

3. Is it Cheating to Use the Multiplication Chart?

4. New Math Game: Factor Dominoes!

5. Math By Design: Paper Patterns

6. And the Award for Favorite Platonic Solid Goes to...

7. Weaving Geometric African Motifs: Part 2

8. A Game of Her Own: Discovering Division

9. Seeing Stars

10. Math in Action: Catapults!

And, an excerpt from a post that is among my personal favorites from the year, The Elephant in the Room:
This flurry of math in the making has me reflecting on how I used to think that math was some kind of  inaccessible, abstract magic trick, a sort of in-joke that excluded us common folk, but now I realize that math is completely not that at all.  The reality of math as most of us know it is like that story where three men are standing in a dark room touching different parts of an elephant.  None of them has the full picture because they're only perceiving individual elements of the whole animal.  
The reality, I'm discovering, is that math is just like that elephant: a large, expansive, three dimensional, intelligent, sensitive, expressive creature.  The problem is that most of us have been standing around in that dark room since about kindergarten, grasping its tail, thinking "this is what math is and, personally, I don't think it's for me".  We've been blind to the larger, incredibly beautiful picture that would emerge if only we would turn on the lights and open our eyes. 
Thank you, everyone, for reading, and huge thanks to the many readers and supporters who helped make 2012 an incredibly fantastic year of mathematical discovery and growth.


  1. Such a wonderful year, and such a wonderful blog! I'm looking forward to following you and your daughter's learning adventures in 2013.

  2. Thanks, Denise. :-) I am so grateful for the resources on your blog -- we have truly benefited from it in the last year!

  3. BTW, I love the picture you used to illustrate this post. But I'd like it even better if you tilted the center star by about 36 degrees (a turn of 1/10 of a circle). I've always thought it looked cool when stars and pentagons connect like that.


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


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