This is part 1 of a series about math. The series will be in 2 parts:
- PART 1–fascinating math concepts and ideas
- PART 2–real math
I don’t like to break things into subjects in my life. It’s all just part of life and learning. But I can understand the use for that in record keeping (which I do myself, so I do break things up there) and other such areas. So here on this blog, they may well be broken up.
There are so many amazing resources out there, so this is just the beginning. Hopefully I will soon have a permanent resource page (UPDATE: I do!), and that one will have more
Go Figure! by Johnny Ball: Go Figure! is a great introduction to a bunch of different math concepts. It got me interested in Fibonacci, different number systems, the history of numbers and much more. Often kids books are just teaching math in the traditional way, and hiding it by fun “games”. This book doesn’t do that. It doesn’t overtly (or not so overtly) patronize kids, it’s just good and interesting. It’s well designed and engaging, and great for all ages.
Measurement by Paul Lockhart: The idea of the book is to redesign the way math is taught in school. Rather than being problems with one clear answer, he introduces many open ended questions about shapes and equations throughout the book. Some of them, he talks about and explains and others he leaves for one to mull over. This is, I believe, a book meant for adults, but I don’t think that should ever stop someone. I suggest reading it with others and discussing the problems.
Khan Academy: I add this to my list cautiously. Khan Academy’s math programs are taught in a very schooly way, which to me is off putting. But when used in the right way, I think they can be great. Khan Academy is a great place to get a plethora of questions at your disposal, to play with and think about. My worry is something I’ve experienced. Very quickly, instead of being interested in the questions, one can get interested in only the answers and progressing. If you go at your own pace, look at only what interests you and don’t get bored by the sometimes less than engaging videos, it can be a great way to be introduced to many different math concepts.
Vi Hart videos: Vi Hart does something absolutely amazing with her videos. She combines interesting concepts, fantastic drawings, and a well done narrative that together have me running for my graph paper and pencil. With a mix of concepts I know but can’t wait learn more about and math I’ve never even heard of–and everything in between–it’s a fascinating collection.
Did I include your favorites? What would you add? Do you like numbers just for being interesting? Or do you want them to have real life context?