Math Travels: From HS to Elementary and back again!
— by George Gadanidis
For over 10 years I’ve been working in elementary classrooms in Canada and in Brazil, bringing HS ideas to Grades 1-4 students: such as linear and other functions, sequences/series, circular functions, infinity/limit, and so forth.
Finding ways to communicate with young children what are at heart complex math ideas has been a tremendous learning experience for me. Here is another way of thinking about this: If we can’t talk about the math we know with non-experts, do we really understand it?
Now I am developing a program to bring these elementary school representations of HS math concepts back to HS classrooms, along with coding extensions.
As part of our MKN partnership with the Wellington CDSB, I have had the pleasure to work with math teachers at St. James Catholic High School in Guelph and put these ideas into action.
Almost 10 years ago, working in Grades 1/2 classrooms in the Durham CDSB, teachers asked for ideas for teaching growing patterns.
Here is the activity we designed, shared as a song whose lyrics are actually comments parents made after children shared their learning at home.
Here is a coding representation of this activity.
Here is Western University applied mathematician Lindi Wahl discussing these ideas and how they relate to her work in mathematical modelling in biology.
I will look forward to our continuing work with St. James CHS in the coming school year, and also to sharing this work more widely.