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Math Outreach

Today the students in my Math of Everyday Things class did a workshop with 120 second graders. During the workshop we presented a few simple ideas to prepare the students for more advanced math and did activities to reinforce concepts.


The three key ideas were

  • A slice of pizza is a fraction
    • Pizza is a favorite of many children. (and adults!)
    • LEGOs also make a great visual for understanding fractions.
  • A circle has 360 degrees
    • We can extend our pizza analogy by considering a pizza with 360 slices.
    • Sports like skate boarding, snow boarding, ice skating and gymnastics in corporate rotations or spinning.
    • Kids like to move. Games like duck, duck, GOOSE! can help children understand rotations and movement around a circle.
  • Rules determine order
    • Many math operations involve understanding and applying rules to reach an outcome. Whether it is multiplying large numbers, adding fractions or using the order of operations in algebra, rule and sequence play an important role.
    • A simple way to understand and apply a rule is to line up by different criteria such as height, birthday and last name


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