Looking for ways to activate math learning in any environment, making your elementary or middle school math curriculum more exciting and innovative? Whether you are a general classroom teacher or a STEM specialist, this workshop will allow you to experience and explore how place-based math programs can engage students and enhance the relevancy of mathematics in their everyday experiences and environment, whether in a building, neighborhood or any other physical space. This workshop will focus on the applications of measurement, ratio and proportion, geometry, numbers and operations and data analysis to the workshop site: Zankel Hall, Teachers College, Columbia University. We will explore the building and its surroundings, through a mathematical lens, investigating size, shapes, distance, scale, patterns, categories and other mathematical concepts. You will see how place-based learning experiences are valuable resources to enhance students’ appreciation and understanding of mathematics, deepen student thinking, increase student awareness, and add authenticity, meaningfulness and fun to math education.
Jan Cohen is the founder of UrbanMathTrails. Drawing on her extensive background in mathematics education, finance and architecture and a passion for the outdoors, Jan creates programs to inspire children to discover math in the environment around them. Building on children’s natural curiosity, diverse interests and sense of fun and adventure, she develops innovative site-specific math programs.
Her concept is simple: use math to enhance student exploration, communication, understanding and appreciation of the spatial forms of communities, the patterns of nature and the building blocks of art. UrbanMathTrails promotes authentic connection between math, nature, the arts and environment, enabling students to embrace concepts that transcend individual disciplines, settings and circumstances through observational learning, discovery and application.
For more place-based math ideas, visit her website at www.urbanmathtrails.com.