I discovered these quirky and playful short films by the mathemusician, Vi Hart, via ‘Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You Had‘. I’ve tried to instill in my students the idea of ‘playing with maths’ and also encourage them to see and make sense of the mathematical beauty in the world around them.
After watching the video we brainstormed the maths they noticed. And then it was time to play. Having the list helped the play to remain with a maths focus – coding, strings, growing patterns, angles, mazes etc. Some students picked up on phrases such as ‘fractal curve’ and ‘binary expansion of pi’ and wanted to find out more about those (they are only 9 years old but if that’s what interest them then I’m more them happy to let them go. If they can explore the concept I HATE seeing the mathematical language dumbed down). As they played, I listened to their rich conversations. I love these activities that encourage the students to notice the maths in the games and toys they play with. And, of course, they were all mesmerized by the video – thankfully there is a playlist for them to explore!