Monday, September 14, 2015

Informal, Math-Rich Experiences - The Richmond Math Salon

This is an old (2010) video, but I keep returning to it because I love the notion of a math salon. 
A while back I wrote a post describing the components of elementary school homework I believed were important. Here's a description of one of those components.
Puzzle - When was the last time you sat down to solve a puzzle and did it for fun? I do this all the time. Sudoku, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, logic problems, tangrams ... I could go on. Puzzles are good for the brain. They develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. They teach kids to persevere, guess and check, collaborate with others, and try a whole host of new strategies. Can you think of a better training ground for mathematical thinking than puzzling? Now imagine if your teacher encouraged you to do this for homework. 
This is exactly the kind of think happening in this math salon--kids exploring ideas in meaningful ways that just happen to touch on aspects of mathematical thinking. Just imagine what you could do with this idea in a classroom.

You can read more on my views about homework in the post entitled Elementary School Homework and Reading in Math and Science.

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