Saturday, August 4, 2012

Math people are cool.

 My desk looks like a piñata factory exploded. There's paper everywhere. I've been designing math toys like crazy.

Yesterday, I went on a research trip and met with two amazing people.

This is Dr. Patrick Kimani and Dr. Cheryl Carrera who are math professors at UCSF. Now before you back away from the screen in the presence of such mathematical brilliance, let me tell you something... they have this magical ability to make numbers cool and interesting. I was enchanted.

We were talking about division and Dr. Kimani explained not just the formula but drew it out on a number line. We talked about how kids acquire numeracy and at what ages. We talked about how the toys might meet national standards so that teachers could use them in the classroom as extra activities to reinforce concepts. 

We also had a great time rolling these toy turtles around and talking about the different number lines and games that could be played with them.  (Spoiler alert, this is one of the first toys. There will be twelve turtles in all.) There are all kinds of math games that can be played with this little army of rolling reptiles. We talked about grids and axis, averaging and measuring.

There is a saying,

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" ~ Issac Newton

I would have to say that I'm being helped by giants and for that I am most grateful.

More soon!



  1. I am really looking forward to your maths toys. I know my children will love them and I am also excited about sharing them with my class when I go back to teaching.
    When I was teaching I used a resource called Boxcar and One-Eyed Jacks. It is a great series of open-ended maths games. Thought you might like to look at it for inspiration. - games - company

    Good luck with getting the games finished and organised, and thanks for having such an amazing site that is my first stop when I need something interesting to make with children.

  2. Love that you met cool maths folk - I knew they existed! And how lovely your photos are, darling! xx

  3. Fabulous stuff, can't wait for these.