Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Life as a Mathematician

This post is part of Melanie Holtsman's challenge to blog about a topic during the next 10 weeks. This is week three. When I saw this topic I was excited to write about it, because I love math! I love the challenge of trying to find the answer and the pattern of math in our lives. Now, I did not say that I practice and can answer all math questions like calculus or statistics, but rather, I like the study of mathematics,  I like the problem solving challenges, and I love searching for patterns in our answers!
SunFlower: the Fibonacci sequence, Golden Section
My favorite mathematical term is Fibonacci! When I was teaching math, as an adult, I learned about Fibonacci. When I taught this concept to my students as 4th graders, they just moved into understanding the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, as well as, understanding how to divide large numbers! It was amazing to watch the power of that understanding.
How do I use math in my everyday life? Well, this weekend, my husband and I are working on a project, tiling our entryway. It requires measurement, problem solving, prediction, reflection and finally, we hope success. The price for success is practice, problem solving and troubleshooting! It is a challenge. Usually on the weekend I am cooking and preserving food for winter. That requires measuring ingredients, looking for recipes, and finally following the directions to make corn relish. Math is all around us. I am a mathematician! So are you.
Entry way half done.


loonyhiker said...

I actually use the fibonacci sequence when knitting. I use it to figure out the number of rows for each color. Somewhere I read that it makes the prayer shawls more interesting than even numbered rows. Hope your project turns out well. :)

Cheryl Oakes said...

Thanks loonyhiker, it is amazing how many uses we have for math! Thanks for the comment.

colleenk said...

The first thought I had when I read your post was how I wished my students could envision themselves as mathematicians. Instead, too many view math as a hurdle they have to jump over to get through (and out of) school.

You have me thinking of ways to help students see themselves as doers and creators of math from an early age. I'd like to use my website to launch one of these ideas. Would you mind if I borrowed your title?

Cheryl Oakes said...

Hi Colleen, Melanie Holtsman, Once upon a Teacher, Once Upon A Teacher>/A> Started a #fallblogchallenge and it is the topic of the week, please use it and credit her!

Melanie Holtsman said...

I've never heard of fibonacci, but you better bet I'll be impressing some students with it! Thanks for teaching me, Cheryl!

Dan said...


Thanks for the reminder that math is an every day "experience" we all share. Like you and your husband, my wife and I are putting in the larder as well as all manner of home improvements. Our project this weekend was a new window in the bathroom. It never ends! :-)

Thanks also for the connection to Melanie Holtsman's blog. I'll be adding her to my Reader!

P.S. How did the entry way turn out?


Cheryl Oakes said...

Melanie, this is why we blog to share the conversation and get the wisdom of the crowd!
Dan, I've added a photo of the entry way in progress! Good luck with your project, post photos too! Cheryl

eduguy101 said...

Great post..I too am a lover of math and a math teacher by training as well. I forgot about the Fibonacci sequence. I loved teaching that to my middle school students.