Mathematics & creativity

Imagine a world without mathematics

Mathematics is a subject that some teachers have difficulty with. They are unsure of their own mathematical capabilities or find it a less creative subject to teach and rely solely on the textbooks for their lesson plans.  This can lead to students who see mathematics as a subject to be feared or see it as being monotonous and complicated. Mathematics is a fantastic subject!

It forms the basis of many other areas of the curriculum and is, in fact, one of the most creative subjects of all! Mathematics is all about finding patterns and applying thinking strategies. Both skills which are essential in every day life and support learning in other subjects. Mathematics encompasses a multitude of areas from shapes and patterns, to measures, data-handling and numerical problem solving.

Imagine a world without mathematics, no computers, no clocks, no bridges, no art…….

Studying mathematics stimulates curiosity, fosters creativity and helps to make the world a better place!

 

5 maths-based objects I can’t do without:

  1. My computer

Obviously, without this I could not write this blog!

Without the binary code of 1’s and 0’s on which computer language is based, there would be no computers.

  1. 2. The GPS
  2. When I go hiking with my husband the GPS makes sure we can get home. The GPS receiver picks up signals sent by satellites. It uses geometry to determine the position of the receiver and keeps us on the right path (most of the time….).

 

  1. 3. Kitchen scales
  2. I love to cook, but I am terrible at the mathematical skill of estimating. Therefore, I like to follow a recipe (numbered step, by numbered step) and I use scales to weigh and measure out my ingredients.

 

  1. 4. The dishwasher
  2. I hate putting all the things in and I hate having to unpack the dishwasher. However, even more than I dislike using this machine, I really hate doing the washing-up!
  3. So, I go through the mathematical rigmarole of setting the temperature and the time and let this wonderful machine do the dirty work for me.

 

  1. 5. My piano
  2. It isn’t tuned and that is my excuse for the way it sounds when I play it, practice has nothing to do with it……..
  3. Reading music requires decoding notes in a stave, which show by their position, which key on the piano is to be played. Other symbols in the music show the beat (timing) and the length of time a key is to be played can be seen by the type of note in the music.

 

How to do this with young children

Look around the classroom and find objects with numbers on them or shapes. See how many things they can find, challenge them to do the same at home and add the things to the list!

Then you can discuss which things you could (not) live without.

Why not try and have a school day without numbers? No books, no computers, no clock………Good luck!