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Math Storytelling Day

MariaD Sep 25, 2009 5:49 AM
Posted in group: NaturalMath
Here is a neat activity to do with kids, invented by Seth Godin, a social media visionary: "What should people do on your birthday?" Here is a quote from his blog:

"On July 4, birthday of the USA, we're supposed to blow off fireworks, eat hot dogs and buy a Chevrolet.
On Columbus Day, birthday of an early imperialist, we're supposed to shop and march in a parade.
On Martin Luther King Jr. day, marvelously, we're supposed to participate in a national day of service.
So, what should we do on your birthday?
With all due respect to Hallmark, the idea of sending people cards and presents on their birthday seems both selfish and small-minded. It seems to me that we could think bigger."

We did this activity with my daughter, and it was both meaningful and fun. On her birthday, Katya wanted people to be creative ethnographers and anthropologists, design their own cultures, and then play out that culture's traditions with friends and families. For my birthday, I would like people to share math stories.

So, for my friends and family, let it be a Math Storytelling Day. We all have some math stories to tell! We can use the classics, like Hilbert's Hotel Infinity: We can use math anecdotes and jokes: We can commiserate about horrible events from our childhoods that caused us bad cases of math anxiety. We can laugh with/at customers in search of math clues: We can bring in history, like the Betsy Ross star story:

I am preparing a story, "Are unicorns real?" to share later today. It is about the discussion of reality and symbols in a Math Club for five-six year old kids.

Tell your math stories - to a friend or on your blog, to your class or to your kid. Storytelling is wonderful! Tell us in this thread where you told your stories, too, so we can all share the joy.

Happy birthday to me,
Maria Droujkova

Make math your own, to make your own math.