Square Stories and Prime Stories
I went into this year wanting to accomplish a few things by trying a new approach. One of those things was to make everyone love math as much as I do. Or at least a little more than they already do.
The hardest ones to win over are those right-brained students who have a hard time with something as logical and “uncreative” as math.
So, during the second week, I gave them a creative project to work on. The idea came from Hemingway’s “six word story” that spawned a whole website devoted entirely to six word stories.
To make it more “mathy” I gave two options. They could either write a “square story” that had two two-word sentences, or three three-word sentences, and so on, or they could write a “prime story” that had three sentences, each with a prime number of words. They then were required to incorporate their story into a picture or video which they could send to me via email.
The results were phenomenal! I was so impressed, and I was actually able to get a sense of what each student likes, based on the subject of the story. This connection would never have been possible with a math worksheet or quiz.
As a result, my student feel more comfortable about math, even those who have not liked it for years. They know now that it’s not just about solving problems. It’s about looking at problems realistically and creatively from many different points of view before you begin to solve them. Yes, there is empathy in mathematics, and I think they see that now.
I have compiled the stories into two videos for you to enjoy. Let me know what you think:
Square Stories: http://youtu.be/sP4l0Sek4iI
Prime Stories: http://youtu.be/JXFdObr9Npw