Math that feels good: A model for math education reform
Interview with Western applied mathematician Lindi Wahl
For over 10 years we’ve been working in classrooms in Ontario and in Brazil, collaborating with teachers to develop activities that will engage young mathematicians with mathematical ideas that will surprise them, that capture their imagination.
Our starting point has been to ask the question, How can we help?
So, we start with teacher needs and student learning needs, and then we wrap around those more complex ideas of mathematics.
For example, when teachers in grade 3 asked us for ideas for area representations of fractions, and how to teach that in different ways, we added around that content the concept that I described in the previous video, of infinity and limit.
So, students had lots of practice representing fractions as areas, but also they had opportunities to see that you can hold infinity in your hand.
We also take the time in classrooms to prepare students to communicate these ideas to others.
Our success is dependent on how well students can share these ideas in ways that will capture their parents’ imagination, that will offer them mathematical surprise and insight. We want to see that in the feedback that we get back.
Following this, is the animated video of Grades 1-2 students singing parents’ comments sent to their teacher, after students shared at home what they learned about growing patterns.