Everyone enjoys a good story. And telling stories using math is one of the best ways to get students, and yourself perhaps, interested in a subject that can be challenging to learn. In fact, the task of learning mathematics seems remote from anything to do with storytelling. But it isn't. I bet you had word problems in school. I did. Math storytelling is simply an extended version of those old word problems. And math storytelling sound must nicer than word problems. Who wants problems anyway? But stories can spark interest. Students want to know more. "Creating interest with a story is an important initial step. Describing a chain of events may engage students, create excitement, mystery or suspense, and motivate thinking about a particular problem. Stories may convey passion and enthusiasm. They may also introduce ways of thinking and acting like their heroes, create empathy, and make the material more accessible and memorable. Stories in which students identify with the heroes may also make the lesson more relevant and more vivid. Stories that involve specific examples may help students relax as they provide something to hold to when moving to general theory or technical detail. In general, a classroom story can serve as a purposeful break from the routine, creating a refuge to return to and to seek more stories."
Math stories are entertaining and can, in their own unique way, make learning mathematics almost seem fun!
Math Storytelling Day began in 2009 by Maria Droujkova after she read a blog post by Seth Godwin entitled, "What Should I Do On Your Birthday?" Seth encouraged his readers to think bigger than themselves when making birthday suggestions to friends and family. Math stories had been around for a long time, but the suggestion by Mr. Godin prompted Maria and her daughter to share these math stories with others...a kind of birthday gift for everyone...on September 25th, which just happened to be her own birthday. It's a very cool idea!
How can you celebrate this wonderful day? Explore math stories, share them with your family and friends. Maybe make up a few math stories of your own. And don't forget to post them on your social media using #MathStorytellingDay.
I used to be able to embed links into this blog but I don't seem to be able to that any longer. Darn. There are a couple of neat websites I want to share with you, though, that will tell you more about math storytelling. https://www.sensepublishers.com/media/1019-teaching-mathematics-as-storytelling.pdf
One has a few really great examples of math stories. My favorite is Hilbert's Infinite Hotel.
This is the best I can do, but perhaps you can copy and paste these links into your browser if you want to learn more..
Tomorrow is Wednesday and I invite you to hop back here for another wonderful life lesson from my dear friend and teacher, The Dharma Frog. Until then, I wish you Happy Math Storytelling Day and