Last year, Christopher Danielson, began a tradition at the Minnesota State Fair called Math On A Stick — this “exhibit” allowed children and families to come and experience math in a way that most classroom teachers dream about – it is safe, playful, there are no right or wrong answers, and it is engaging for all ages. I worked at Math On a Stick last year with some teachers from my district and fell in love. It was so relaxing to observe children at play all the while they were engaging in mathematical thinking.
This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go back to Math On a Stick with another group of teachers. The best part about the group this year was that I was able to join teachers from 3 different schools – 4 teachers were from 2 of our middle schools and 1 teacher was from 1 of our high schools. I was grateful for teachers to give up their evening after working a full day and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to build relationships with them.
While we were there we had the opportunity to see beautiful things being created by children, a former student even stopped by, and we were all able to have great conversations with children and families. Christopher has recently published a new book titled Which One Doesn’t Belong and both students and families were perplexed and challenged as they all took time to notice different characteristics of the images on the pages — I know some left thinking long and hard about that book — it was awesome to engage so many.
Annie Fetter (@MFAnnie), another person who I hugely admire the work of, was also there and I was thrilled to have some great conversations with her as well. If you are interested in seeing what kids are saying and doing at the MN State Fair – go to twitter and look at #statefairnumbers or follow @MathOnAStick — You won’t be disappointed.
As it was last year – this was one of the most energizing experiences that I have done all summer to help me be ready to go back to school. Here are a few pics from our time…Thanks Christopher for your vision!