These lessons plans are are intended to provide a multi-level structure for home educating or afterschooling families to study math through history and related math topics in context.
Reading guides, suggested activities and online support are provided for Primary, Intermediate, Advanced and High School Levels (see Samples and book lists /comments related to reading levels). There is no need to keep up with a group schedule as lessons are self paced.
The lessons feature a biography of one or more mathematicians, with reading assignments, resources, suggested links and activities tying in with the concepts and history surrounding the individual studied. Plans include identification of the geographical origins of the person studied, historical events of the time, contemporaries, etc. The course does not have a solely Western European math history focus; Eastern contributions and contributions by women are studied.
The levels lock-step the math history personages, but the reading depth and activities will vary according to level. This is beneficial to families with multiple aged siblings for discussion, activities, reading aloud, etc. Activities are offered as they relate to the work of people studied, including the following topics: Probability, finance, geometry, number patterns and sequences, logic, and algebra, word problems, making your own problems. Yes, you can introduce and play with these topics even with early elementary children if the goal is not mastery, but exposure and familiarity. Access to one set of plans provides access to all activities, as "grade levels" do not apply to many activities.
Lessons give attention to the effect of language on math through exploring, comparing the differences in mathematical word meanings vs. other life applications. Suggested activities to discover areas where language causes mathematical confusion, such as “reducing” fractions, double negatives, etc. Activites will be suggested to explore mathematical poetry and literature, the relationship between math and music, math in nature and life.
Parental participation for the primary and intermediate levels will be necessary to get the most out of this, advanced (approximately 7th grade and up) will have clear enough instructions that parental participation would be related to assistance as needed and follow through. But some older students will gain more if a parent studies and discusses the material with them.
Primary Level (approximately 1st-3rd Grades)
Lessons for this class will consist primarily of read alouds, map / geography skills and suggested games related to the math history topics. I suggest vocabulary and other language oriented math activities. Much of the math activities in this level come from picture books used in the course.
Note re kindergarten: You are welcome to use the booklists and wait on formal lessons for kindergarten. If you feel your child is ready or has an interest in activities, however, you may want to give the plan material a try. Some families use the materials with this age and spread it out over a long period of time.
Intermediate Level (approximately 3rd - 6th Grades)
This group will also cover the math history, but with more advanced reading, discussion and activities. Similarly to the primary level, there will be suggested games and activities, but assume multiplication is conceptually understood.
Lessons include read alone and/or readaloud (some read alouds will track with the primary level), map / geography skills and weekly suggested games/activities related to the math history topics. Vocabulary and language oriented math activities will be suggested, as well as internet site based activities.
Advanced Level (approx 7th - 9th Grades)
Similar in structure to the intermediate, but with more reading at higher levels. Math levels vary, so access to all activities allows you to use activities that track with the math capability of the child.
High School (approx. 10th and up)
The math history outline for this group will be the same, but the reading will be based more on selected adult level materials including reading excerpts from mathematics and science classes such as Euclid's Elements, Galileo's and Kepler's writings, Newton's Principia, etc. If all the challenging reading is used, this is a serious course of study in a college preparatory model. Basic elementary math skills are assumed, There is exposure to algebra, geometry, calculus, logic, etc. in exploratory context without requirement for mastery.