In the Spring of 2015 I’ll be teaching Math Circles for grades 2 and 3 on Thursdays at lunch time and grades 4 and 5 at lunch time on Fridays at Malcolm X. I’ll be teaching Math Circles for grades 3-5 at Berkeley Arts Magnets after school on Tuesdays, grades 3-5 at Jefferson on Wednesdays after school, and at John Muir at Thursdays after school.

I’ll be teaching SuperGirl Math (2nd grade) alternate Mondays from 4:00 to 5:30 at a home in Berkeley, and I’ll be teaching homeschool math for advanced 4th graders will be on Tuesdays from 9:30 to noon.

SuperGirl Math and Math Circles

SuperGirl Math 2

Who: 8 Second Grade Girls
When: alternate Mondays, 4:00 – 5:30
Where: parent houses in Berkeley
Why: challenge + review, to help girls to be excited about math, and to be strong in math
Cost: $150 for five meetings through December

This class is currently full. A second session will begin in January, and registration will open in early December.

supergirlFrom the SuperGirl Math Camp for fifth graders over the summer:


Well first off let me say it’s  been great, thank you, and Shira went in one day from saying “I don’t like math” to saying “camp was great”. What can I say, you’re a gem! … I’d love to have it continue during the school year.
— Tamar, parent

I am very impressed with your commitment to this camp, and Naima is having a great time! … I would like to continue something with you during the school year …. Thanks again for making this so engaging for the girls! — Mia, parent

Read recent SuperGirl Math lesson for third graders –> Meditative Doubling

Math Circles

Math Circle students working on a problem that didn't want to end.

Math Circle students last year, working on a problem that didn’t want to end.

In General:

Math Circles began a generation ago in Eastern Europe, originally for high school students. Their purpose wasn’t to cover topics in the usual algebra through calculus sequence, but instead to instill passion for math by presenting advanced math topics that a student would typically not see, topics that hint at what math looks like to a mathematician. Or more simply, as I have told the students, “What you think math is, is not math.”

Playing a NIM variant.

Playing a NIM variant.

In recent years, Math Circles have been attempted for younger children in elementary school. At each level, the structure is the same: a carefully chosen problem is presented to the students, and they take it from there. They come up with ideas, they discuss, they argue, they bump forward. They are guided by the teacher, but they make their own discoveries, they are free to make their own mistakes. It may take us an hour or two or three or more to work through a problem. One solution may suggest other problems, perhaps a conjecture, a generalization. We begin again. Done well, the process gives students a sense of excitement and wonderment for the beauty of higher mathematics.

I teach Math Circles at Jefferson, Berkeley Arts Magnet, Malcolm X, and John Muir schools. In the Fall of 2014 we are studying programming using the Scratch language.

This spiral takes about eight lines in Scratch to program.

This spiral takes about eight lines in Scratch to program.

From a lesson last year –> Venn Diagrams and Students of Color

Problem-solving with compass and straightedge–> Read More

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