Live television folks, anything can happen!
A couple weeks ago I hauled my dance board and my goofy self over to the WTIU studios on the Indiana University campus to tape a segment of the Friday Zone. We taped down some (purple! orange!) squares on a round set (now there's some mathematical problem solving for you) and got to work learning how to create our own percussive dance steps and make math, all at the same time.
Read more about it and watch the video!
It was an amazing process and, finally, an amazing day at TEDxBloomington. (There I am in the green/yellow shirt at the end of the day when all the speakers, crew and organizers made their way onto the stage.) My talk will be online in the next couple months (post-production can take some time) alongside the talks from Drew Ramsey, MD (one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of dietary change to balance mood, sharpen brain function and improve mental health), Ryan Germick (Google Doodle team lead), Eric Deggans (TV/Media Critic for the Tampa Bay Times and author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation), Robert Einterz, MD (whose efforts have literally saved thousands of AIDS inflicted people in Kenya) and many other incredible people with incredible stories. I was in fine company and it was an honor to share my my work in this way.
There's been a flurry of fun and activity this month in Math in Your Feet land! Here's a wrap-up of the new things happening, including updates to the Math in Your Feet website and other projects I'm involved in:
- Have you booked a residency or a workshop? There is now a Program Materials page so you can read, download and/or print student materials before a workshop or residency.
- I'm excited to announce the launch of Teaching Artist Tool Shop, a collective of artists, teaching artists and arts educators. We are producing videos and other materials that present concrete, interesting and useful teaching tools that derive from years of practical experience and engage theoretical ideas that are firmly rooted in
practice. You can see my first video on the Teaching Artist Tool Shop Page, and access the video guide and overview there as well.
- I was recently invited to become a regular contributor to the Moebius Noodles blog, a leader in adventurous, rich math experiences for babies, toddlers, young children and their adults! You can read more about my writing and
editing projects here.
- I'll be presenting about Math in Your Feet at TEDxBloomington on March 22, 2013. If you're not in Bloomington at that time, don't worry! It'll be live-streamed the day of and archived on YouTube!
- Some fun new posts on the blog include building multiplication towers in the post Messin' Around with the Commutative Property and an exciting new math book I found that deals with both multiplication and scale in the post Ten Times Better, Longer, Faster, Farther: Understanding Scale.
For that matter, you might also be interested in the aha! moment my daughter had about units in the post When is a 10 not a 10? or perhaps you're looking for some good math games? Don't miss my post My Favorite Math Games and Interactives: Online & Off!
Phew! That's a LOT! I hope the New Year is getting off to a great start for you as well!
All the best,
I recently wrote a post, published both on my own blog and on the Teaching Artist Journal's ALT/space, about where I start when I assess student success in Math in Your Feet. An excerpt:
"All this is well and good, but what my colleagues really wanted were more specifics about my evaluative criteria. How exactly do I gauge my students --within the medium of percussive dance or with regard to the math? Again my, possibly controversial, answer: Both.
"And a question back: Why do we think of them as separate activities? I think part of the issue might have a lot to do with how we, on the whole, perceive mathematical activity.
"Generally conceived, dance is a three-dimensional, kinesthetic endeavor. Math is rote memorization of algorithms and concepts and inhabits a two-dimensional symbolic realm. Everything we’ve learned in school bears this out, except that it’s really not true! When I started to really investigate what it means to do math I found that it’s completely different than what I did in school when I was a kid (and you too, probably). And, as I dug deeper, I also realized I had been thinking mathematically all my life – I just never recognized it as a mathematical activity."
Read the full post here.
Thanksgiving is just a day away and I am so thankful for this New-and-Improved Math in Your Feet website. I love a lot of things about this new site, especially the fact that it's way more interactive than my previous one. For instance you can leave me comments, right here!
I am also thrilled about the Math by Design section where I am sharing some new math and making ideas I've developed over the last year.
And, videos! Don't forget videos! This is the first time I've had the chance to really describe and illustrate what percussive dance really is.