By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris
Did you just shudder? Or grin? Most people have a strong reaction to math, one way or the other.
When I was growing up, one of my absolute must see shows was Square One TV on PBS. I was definitely a book person over a math person, but I was obsessed with this show. Thirty years later, I can still recite the Fibonacci Sequence, do my 9s multiplication tables with ease, read Roman Numerals at a glance, and do most of it in song. Because they made it fun.
Anne Helen Peterson wrote a great nostalgic look at the show with links to some of the best videos. Will it inspire your family to sing about the Mathematics of Love? Maybe not. But we can still make math fun!
- Using the numbers 1-9, try to be the first to add your numbers up to 15. Defensively block your opponent by taking the numbers they need first. After you’ve played a few rounds, does it look familiar? It’s Magic Square.
- Try some more math magic tricks on Education World.
- Remember Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson? He also painted over 100 pieces of art inspired by theorems, mathematical laws, and physics! What art would you create to represent math?
- Explore math while virtually visiting museums, zoos, and nature. The Docent Educator has ideas.
- The National Museum of Mathematics is offering free classes for kids throughout the pandemic to explore the fun side of math.
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- Cool Tessellations is full of fun math and science activities that highlight the close relationship of math and art.
- Math Everywhere! Explore this series of books showing how math is part of the world around you.
- Because chess is math in action, watch Mr. Luis (pictured with his assistant Honor) teach the basics of chess in our on-demand tutorial series.
And look for new math kits coming this winter!
Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.