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Play Matters

When we leverage play in the context of patterns, shapes and numbers, we can create an environment that allows us to experience the joy and beauty of mathematics in a safe space, trying out new ideas without risk. Math play can be structured (a game with specific rules) or unstructured (using shape tiles to create something), and, when designed thoughtfully, it can leave behind mathematical residue that can be drawn upon indefinitely. When we create the opportunity for students to play math, we open the door to endless possibilities, uncovering the mathematical connections that exist all around us.

Play Math Cards Play Matters Francis Su quote

From Mathematics for Human Flourishing, author Francis Su is a mathematical explorer.

Play Math Cards play matters keith devlin quote

Professor and author, Keith Devlin is also known as "The Math Guy" on NPR's Weekend Edition.

Play Math Cards play matters vi hart quote

Vi Hart is a mathematician Youtuber, who shares connections between the arts and mathematics.

Play for Everyone

We can begin an investigation in math with play to ignite curiosity and creativity, and enhance a learning experience with play to ensure a safe space to try out ideas and look for connections. When we open up the opportunity to play in math to everyone, we give everyone the opportunity to see themselves as mathematicians and experience the beauty and joy in mathematics all around them.

Play Math Cards play for everyone fosnot and dolk quote

In the Young Mathematicians at Work series, Fosnot and Dolk share what they've learned from intensive study of students in math classrooms.

Play Math Cards gaskins quote

Denise Gaskins has designed Let's Play Math to showcase the beautiful flavors of math.

Connecting School and Community

Play Math! connects communities and families with schools by acknowledging the brilliance each and every person has and better honoring and empowering our students' brilliance during math. Through math play, we can transform power and find ways for educators to learn from and with community members and families in order to highlight the ways our students naturally exude brilliance, and then build from those ideas, experiences and curiosities in the classroom to honor and connect our students, communities and schools.

Play Math Cards connecting school and community lisa delpit quote

Renowned author and educator, Lisa Delpit challenges the status quo and pushes all educators to reframe with an assets-based approach in Multiplications is for White People: Raising expectations for other people's children.

Play Math Cards connecting school and community samaria rice quote

Samaria Rice is the CEO of Tamir Rice Foundation, in support of all students "expressing their truth to improve their lives," and wrote the foreword of Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
This page is created and maintained by the SDCOE Math Team.