It’s time for a shift in the way the world learns mathematics. Seven math enthusiasts from The Global Math Project are looking to change the way math is taught in classrooms around the world by creating a global community engaged in joyful mathematics.
The goal of the Global Math Project (GMP) is to reach and thrill 1 million students, teachers and adults with an engaging piece of mathematics during a special week in October known as Global Math Week 2017. From there, the GMP will share free materials online that will assist educators and students to learn math in a joyful manner.
The first piece, known as Exploding Dots, which can explain place value, school arithmetic, algorithms and algebra, has already been released as a preview. Exploding Dots was created by James Tanton (PhD. Mathematics, Princeton University), who demonstrated his innovative curriculum to Rio Grande Valley math teachers at Region One Education Service Center as part of the Texas Graduate Center’s (TGC) MATHTEACH Collaborative.
James Tanton is a research mathematician deeply interested in bridging the gap between the mathematics experienced by high school students and the creative mathematics practiced and explored by mathematicians.
“[Exploding Dots] is a piece of mathematics you can connect K-12 through 16 and beyond,” said Tanton. “It’s a math story that speaks to me. It’s fun and joyous so let math be fun and joyous.”
Ultimately, The Global Math Project is a collaboration among math professionals from around the world and therefore relies on Ambassadors who support their growing global community. One such ambassador is the TGC’s own Queen Claire Martin, a La Joya ISD High School teacher and a dual-enrollment professor currently enrolled in Harvard’s Math for Teaching Graduate Program. The TGC spoke to her about her capacity as an Ambassador as well as her desire to change the global perception of mathematics and its accessibility for all:
How did you find out Global Math Project and what made you want to become an ambassador?
I have been an avid follower of James Tanton’s unique way of doing mathematics and was very thankful to Texas Graduate Center that I was able to meet him personally. Since then I have been sharing joyful math with colleagues. But last September, I decided to share his “Quadratics” topic at our District share fair, since it involved a bigger audience, I emailed him, to ask how do I go about copyright and so on. It was then, when he mentioned, that he would be grateful if I would help him share his “Math” and invited me to be an ambassador for the Global Math Project.
What impact do you hope to make with the Global Math Project on your students/ school?
Being an ambassador, I would like my students as well as my entire school, or in fact the district and as much as the valley, to join 1 million students around the globe that will be rolling with fun and excitement as they engage in a mind blowing mathematical idea, “Exploding Dots” during the week of Oct. 10, 2017.
What is Global Math Week and what do you have planned for your students?
Not only do we release the first compelling mathematics video during that special week, we also release a full suite of follow-on materials exploring the complete Exploding Dots story. The videos, downloadable materials, and web applications will be available, for free, in perpetuity. The joyous and transformative impact of Exploding Dots will thus last a lifetime. https://www.theglobalmathproject.org/learn/
I will sign up my students starting January 2017 to be able to participate during the GMP week for free. Currently the developers are working on an app for Exploding Dots, as soon as that will be available during the GMP week, all my students will download that app, and start a paradigm shift in Mathematics.
How do you intend to share this project with other teachers/ students?
I will share this movement during our Department Meetings, high school math meetings, District Wide Math Share fair, RGVCTM. I will also use social media like Twitter and Facebook to share this amazing information.