HS to elementary and back again + coding

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.

An example

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.

Looking ahead

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.