Playful Math Journaling with a Cat

As queen of the house, Cimorene insists on being involved in anything that happens in her domain. This includes promoting the Playful Math Journaling Kickstarter.

So she created a cat math journaling prompt to help your children experience the fun of playing around with math.

But first, she encourages you to visit the Kickstarter page and download the free 16-page printable Math Journaling Sampler file. Your kids will love solving Cimorene’s puzzle on one of the parchment-style pages!

Visit the Kickstarter

Here is Cimorene’s Puzzle

“The Princess of Cats has a luxuriously soft tail about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Her tail is three times the length of her noble head. Her beautiful, furry body is as long as head and tail together. How long is the Princess from her delicate nose to the tip of her majestic tail?”

So, how does math journaling work? What do children do with a problem like this?

They may want to make a list of the things they know from the story. Perhaps they will draw a picture of the cat and label the proportions. Each will take their own approach to figure it out.

And then the best part of any math journal prompt is when kids make their own math.

  • Can they write a new puzzle about their own pet?
  • Or about their favorite animal?

Encourage your children to share their math creations with their friends and family.

Cimorene would love to read it, too! If you share your story in the comments section below, I will be sure to show it to her.

And remember to back the Playful Math Journaling Kickstarter so your whole family can enjoy the adventure of playing with math!

Coming Soon! Playful Math Journaling

Are you a parent who wants to help your children learn math?

Or a teacher looking for new activities to try with your students?

Or perhaps you’d like to discover for yourself the playful side of math that school never showed you?

Tune in next week to discover how to help children explore their own ideas about numbers, shapes, and patterns. Or go to the Kickstarter Preview page, where you can sign up to be notified as soon as the project launches.

Playful Math Education Carnival 147

Welcome to the 147th edition of the Playful Math Education Blog Carnival — a smorgasbord of delectable tidbits of mathy fun. It’s like a free online magazine devoted to learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to high school.

Bookmark this post, so you can take your time browsing. There’s so much playful math to enjoy!

By tradition, we start the carnival with a puzzle in honor of our 147th edition. But if you’d rather jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

Continue reading Playful Math Education Carnival 147

Podcast: Real Math and Family Fun

Christy Thomas interviewed me for her Keep Calm and Mother On podcast. We had a wonderful chat. I think you’ll enjoy it:

Real Math and Family Fun with Denise Gaskins

“School math sometimes is more stress-inducing. Real math is more freeing and more joyful, and just more interesting.

    “Real mathematics is basically applied common sense.

      “Real mathematics is noticing patterns, seeing connections, figuring things out.

        “These are all things that you can do. You do them in other areas of your life. Real mathematics draws on those same abilities and focuses those abilities on numbers, shapes, and patterns.

          “Real mathematics is about solving puzzles. It’s about creative reasoning. These are the things you want your child to understand.”

          —Denise Gaskins, Real Math and Family Fun

          Go Listen to the Interview

          CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash.com.

          Podcast: Math as a Nature Walk

          Pam Barnhill interviewed me for the Your Morning Basket podcast. We had a great talk. I think you’ll enjoy it:

          YMB #94 Math in Morning Time: A Conversation with Denise Gaskins

          “Let me give you this new vision. I want you to think of math as a nature walk.

            “There’s this whole world of interesting things. More things, more concepts, more ideas than you and your children would ever have time to explore. And everywhere you look, there’s something cool to discover.

              “If you explore this world with your children, you’re not behind. Wherever you are, you’re not behind because there is no behind. There’s only, “We’re going this direction.” Or, “Let’s move that way.” Or, “Hey, look what I found over here!”

                “And as long as your children are thinking and wondering, and making sense of the math they find, they’re going to learn. They’re going to grow.

                  “So what you want to do is, you want to embrace this adventure of loving God with all your mind and approach math with an attitude of playful exploration.

                    “And you know, you’ll be surprised how much fun thinking hard can be.”

                    —Denise Gaskins, Math in Morning Time

                    Go Listen to the Interview

                    CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Jessica Rockowitz via Unsplash.com.

                    Notice, Wonder, Create

                    Many homeschooling parents dream of a mathematical magic bullet — a game, app, or book that will help their children learn math and enjoy it.

                    As in life, so also in math, there is no magic solution.

                    Do you want your children to learn math and enjoy it? Teach them to be Math Makers.

                    When they create their own math, students build deep, personal connections to math concepts. They think about the relationships between numbers, shapes, and patterns. Math becomes personal.

                    Toys, hobbies, favorite stories — all can be fodder for math creation.

                    Where Do Math Makers Get Ideas?

                    Let the child choose something to think about.

                    Make an “I Notice” list. How does that item relate to math? What patterns or shapes can you see?

                    Or how would the story characters use numbers in their daily lives? Would they cook, or go shopping? Might they build something? Would they decorate it with a design? What would they count or measure?

                    Make an “I Wonder” list. How many different ways might you turn the things you noticed into questions? What else might you ask?

                    Then turn one of your noticings or wonderings into a math story, poem, puzzle, drawing, or game. Create your own math. Share your creation with family and friends.

                    Now Get Published

                    Join the Student Math Makers team. We’d love to add your math creation to our collection and share it with viewers all around the world!

                    Download a Math Makers Invitation and Submission Form below:

                    CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by MI PHAM via Unsplash.com.

                    New! Your Student Can Be a Math Maker

                    When children create their own math, they build a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and relationships.

                    And it’s fun!

                    So take a break from your normal math program to play with creative math. Students can:

                    Check Out the Gallery

                    We have a few entries already in the Student Math Makers Gallery.

                    Click Here To Visit the Gallery

                    Join the Student Math Makers

                    We’d love to add your students’ math to our collection and share it with viewers all around the world!

                    To submit a math creation, download a Math Makers Invitation and Submission Form below:

                    CREDITS: “Creating Math Puzzles by Sian Zelbo, the author of Camp Logic, via NaturalMath.com.

                    Math Journals: Save the Cat!

                    Puck is concerned that some people don’t understand the idea behind the Math Rebel journals. He decided to create a journaling prompt so your children can experience the joy of creative reasoning (and save cats from their mortal enemy!)

                    Journaling is a great way to help children learn to see with mathematical eyes. Not just to remember what we tell them, but to create their own math.

                    Many people know it’s important for students to do hands-on experiments in science. But Puck realized that most adults don’t know how to do a math experiment.

                    So Puck created this Cat Escape puzzle…

                    Continue reading Math Journals: Save the Cat!

                    Math Journals and Creative Reasoning

                    Learning math requires more than mastering number facts and memorizing rules. At its heart, math is a way of thinking.

                    So more than anything else, we need to teach our kids to think mathematically. To make sense of math concepts and persevere in figuring things out. To notice the numbers, shapes, and patterns all around. To wonder about big ideas.

                    Journaling is a great way to help children learn to see with mathematical eyes. Not just to remember what we tell them, but to create their own math.

                    Get started with creative math journaling today. Visit the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter page to download the free “How To Be a Math Rebel” sampler pictured above, which contains one of my all-time favorite math prompts.

                    Make 100 Math Rebels

                    It doesn’t matter whether your students are homeschooled or in a classroom, distance learning or in person. Everyone can enjoy the experience of playing around with math.

                    Puzzle from the free Math Rebel Sampler.

                    Continue reading Math Journals and Creative Reasoning

                    A New Resource for Playful Math

                    Check out the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter project, which just might transform your child’s experience of math.

                    What Is a Math Rebel?

                    Math rebels believe in Truth. We refuse to accept something just because the teacher or textbook says it. We want to see the connections between math concepts and to understand why things work.

                    Math rebels care about Justice. We resist society’s push for speed and conformity. We reject the cultural narrative that math has only One Right Answer.

                    Math rebels celebrate Creative Reasoning. We delight in finding new ways to look at math topics. We want to think deeply about ideas, and we are confident in our ability to figure things out.

                    Launch your family’s math rebellion today with my free printable PDF booklet, “How To Be a Math Rebel,” available only on the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter page.

                    Here’s the link again:

                    Make 100 Math Rebels on Kickstarter