Teaching math through art
Teaching math through art

Math Through Art

Math Through Art is a math program designed to support elementary school age math learners. The units and projects have been designed to help students in their understanding of the foundational concepts of mathematics. I have been developing and teaching Math Through Art for seven years. I have worked with numerous classroom teachers to fine tune the projects so they can best support the necessary grade level content.

Students are asked to follow very specific directions and guidelines, but also have room for the expression of their own creativity. I find that the combination of the fixed structure established by mathematical concepts and the freedom and spontaneity of the creativity of young children together make incredibly wonderful and beautiful artwork. Sometimes the end goal of our art project is a work of art and sometimes it is a game that furthers the learning of the topic at hand.

I find that the opportunity for creativity increases student enjoyment, engagement, ownership, pride, determination to learn, and even ability to learn. Math Through Art has been very successful in helping young children grow to love math, and to see more clearly the role of mathematics in the world around them.

One way Math Through Art helps, is by making abstract concepts (numbers) more concrete. It challenges students to work with numbers and amounts spatially, connecting both sides of the brain. Usually children are stronger either in their number sense or their spatial ability and Math Through Art helps both types develop what is needed.

Some Math Through Art projects are individual, some are done in partnerships or small groups, and some are large collaborations. This gives students opportunities to learn about cooperation and both the challenges and rewards that come with working with others.

We use recycled materials and materials from Nature whenever possible in Math Through Art. This gives the materials a special look and feel that the students really enjoy. It also helps to create an atmosphere where the process is the priority, (although the products are often quite beautiful and wonderful).

I can visit your classroom and offer projects and games to support the learning of Place Value, Foundations of Multiplication and Division, Fractions, Geometry, Measurement, and Number Line. I am also open to designing new projects to meet specific requests for aspects of content that need enrichment for your students. I work in the 7 second grade classrooms at Essex Elementary School for an hour a week all through the school year. I also do shorter visits to other schools and grades to provide Math Through Art for specific units.