‘Gifted and Interested … in.. MATH.. ‘
In this first of a series of 10 interest based pieces, in which a number of links will be shared and discussed briefly in terms of how they may be useful in keeping certain students minds open to a subject that they could easily lose interest in, if very advanced, and being mainstreamed, or alternatively, may have no interest in due to a number of reasons, or feel that they have no use for past basic computation skills useful for buying items at a local mall.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I believe it can be useful to have an unusual collection of resources that just might keep a spark or interest alive in a subject for a student, thus allowing for continued engagement, this may be by linking it to another subject that you as the students teacher/parent or mentor may suspect would be met with a positive reception. With this in mind, I recommend taking time to reflect about each student/child and write down what you have observed that they are into, or that you believe they may enjoy.. and then secondly think about how this could be linked or have relevance to the topic that is to be taught… in this instance we are talking Math. Maybe you have a child that is/is not advanced/interested in Math, but also has a strong interest in Nature/gardening. You might be starting a collection of links or other activities based around these two themes as long as they are connected. These then could be used/sprinkled throughout the year during lesson time or just spare time, to keep a student/child thinking and engaging with the subjects. Also to teach how interconnected subjects can be and why one may be necessary in real life at times, in order to fully understand and enjoy another.. and it’s intristic beauty..
To get you started, I am going to share a few items from my livebinders, in particular, and for this post the Livebinder on Math which I feel may be useful for some. The binder is, as all my binders are, not very well organised, but does contain a wealth of links. I think of it more like a treasure chest that needs to be rummaged through as one looks for meaningful bits of treasure… you never know what you will find within.
Math and Nature
A very visual way to show students how Math and our Natural World are connected would be to use videos such as this:
Another wonderful video, from How stuff works, explains the connections between the two, just beautifully, click on the link below:
It also explains geometric connections… this in turn, should one think it helpful, could also be applied to the idea that shapes, such as these are also integral to other disciplines such as Art, architecture and can come into play in many other subjects… Ask students to think how a triangle may be/relate to history?, Strategical military planning ?, Gardening?….. speaking of gardening…. take a look at the following links:
The Cosmic Garden– is a very special garden in England that is only open once a year for a limited time. It is laid out in all kinds of Mathematical pathways, shapes, structures, flower beds, bridges and forms… This would make a good field trip for anyone living nearby, or alternatively give ideas for a revamping project of a schools own garden… Could some of these ideas be adapted to suit? Would student(s) take on a challenge to build/plant a small mathematical cosmic garden at home/school grounds?
Labyrinth– or Mazes as they are more commonly known, also involve numbers and math… it may interest students to know that they are not only found in activity books or on sheets of paper… but there are many many different kinds, including living growing mazes in a number of gardens, both older historical ones, and more modern ones, in different countries in the world.. There are even some that are made out of corn fields, or Maize Mazes, and appear and disappear each year!! Could students work out how to grow one?, a mini one that perhaps a class hamster could negotiate?, Or alternatively if living in a rural farming/corn/growing community could a school or class plan and see if they could grow one over a year… A project that could yield fundraising money for the school, as students open the Maize Maze to the public a month before harvest, and could charge an entry fee….
Apart from these wonderful growing things links, there are loads of ways to explore … and a number of additional links to do so can be found by digging around a little in my math livebinder…
Math and Music?
There are connections between Math and Music… which might surprise but also spark interest in students who may have a passion for both or either..
Leibniz once said that “music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting”. – is a quote taken from this site called ‘Music of the Primes‘- that has a wealth of information and resources
The Prime number listening Guide – calls itself – ‘a noisy introduction to prime number theory…’ — it has some good interactive and noisy activities…
Where Math meets Music explores sound wave patterns, frequency and sound engineering
Harmony and proportion explores math in musical harmonies and interestingly linking back to philosophers (this could also have scope for those students who may enjoy classics… )
Feel free to explore my Math Livebinder by clicking below, for links such as these related to
Math and Art Math and Arquitecture Math and Food Math and Codes Math and Cards Math and knitting/quilts Math and cats Math and Real World Math and well, just a whole lot of things on this planet that we all share…
Happy hunting!!! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and have found that the information that has been shared has been in some way helpful. Remember, this livebinder, and many others can also be accessed through the useful link tab from the top menu bar of this blog.
Which livebinder will I share and explore with folks next Monday? Well, come back again and find out in 7 days time!!
Yours in gifted
‘Gifted and Interested… in ….’
Often, and in reality, it can be difficult to find the time to provide full on programs for gifted kids both in the classroom or at home, as life and things just seem to get the better of us, or time…. that elusive and precious element.. time… just seems to be lacking.. when this happens, it is important to keep in mind that the most important of all things is to keep a student interested, and to avoid disengagement if at all possible.. In my experience one way of doing this is to try and identify interests and then feed those interests, even in small doses, through the subjects you are needing to teach.. a few unusual attention grabbing links can go a long way to keep a few sparks alive.. and that in a nutshell is the whole point I would think. Picture and Arty or Home Ec student taking part in a Math crochet or knitting project.. hmmm
Many of you are aware that I have not written for a while, some of you know the reasons why. I would say that mostly it is because my energies have been needed elsewhere, and necesitated putting my blog on a shelf for a bit. However, my readers are important to me, and It enjoy their contact and sharing helpful info. So I have thought that maybe it might be fun to write a series of posts, on specific subjects related to my livebinder collections, that might be useful to folks who are working with Gifted or Exceptionally Able students (or may be gifted themselves) and could be looking for resources or added interest in a particular area….
As I have a gazillion Livebinders on a wide and broad range of subjects, there should be something which will be of use to folks over the next while… please let me know if you enjoy any of the choices I offer for your enjoyment, and also, if there is a subject, that you would like to see a collection of , that you would think might be useful to many, please also let me know.. I will do my best to put together a collection for you and others to share.. Stay tuned in Mondays… first Post in this series will be:
‘Gifted and interested..in… MATH
Hoping it will be enjoyable and that you find some treasures to keep the spark alive.. ;-D