Water, Worms and Measuring

posted by Diann Gano Have you ever seen a child with a tape measure? They are in all their glory! We have small tape measures that sometimes make it on our walks around the neighborhood. We like to measure seedpods, sticks, each other, our shadows, you name it. Did you find a worm? We are […]

The Five Senses of Math

posted by Diann Gano We spend a lot of time outdoors. Playing. That play involves math in such natural ways that it is easy to overlook how often math comes into our lives. Research has found that early math proficiency is a better predictor of future academic success, high school graduation and college attendance than […]

Setting the Stage for Outdoor Math Experiences

posted by Diann Gano As I look around me I see busy, happy children. Avery, Linnea and Anderson are busy seeing how high they can stack their rocks. Maya and Noa are near the sandbox creating a tea party for fairies, while Rowan and Parker are creating homes and meals for the squirrels over in […]

Symmetry in Nature

posted by Lindsay Maldonado Despite being an urban metropolis, Chicago is surprisingly a great city for nature lovers. We are lucky enough to have access to some incredible natural spaces, both inside and outdoors. Two of my go-to nature spots in the winter are the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Garfield Park Conservatory. It’s […]

Pattern walk at the Field Museum

posted by Lindsay Maldonado Today I visited the Field Museum of Natural History. Another one of my favorite Chicago museums. The Field Museum houses thousands of artifacts from dinosaur bones to pottery and clothing from ancient civilizations. Again you may be thinking, math? Isn’t this a natural history museum? With thousands of artifacts on display, […]

Researcher for a day: What kinds of animals live in the Amazon?

posted by Lindsay Maldonado By day, I’m a researcher at Shedd Aquarium. I study people though, not animals – but, at Shedd, there are also a lot of people who do study animals. Some of these people are conservation research scientists or aquarists, who use math, and science, to help them learn more about the […]

Museums and Math: The Perfect Pair

posted by Lindsay Maldonado Museums are likely the most common setting for informal learning. Unlike formal learning (i.e., traditional classroom learning), informal learning is voluntary, unstructured, and learner-led. These settings provide a variety of learning experiences for a diverse group of learners. Museums offer opportunities to be hands-on with objects and even live animals. Museum […]

Let’s sort this out!

posted by Dr. Bilge Cerezci At all ages, children classify intuitively to make sense of their world that seems largely out of their control. By 2 weeks of age, infants distinguish between objects they suck and those they do not. By 2 years, toddlers form sets with objects that are similar. In preschool, children begin […]

Focus on Attributes!

posted by Dr. Bilge Cerezci As she sits on the floor, a three-year old starts stacking blocks with various shapes and sizes. After some experimentation, she realizes that it is hard to build a tower if a block lays on its curvy side.   What does this 3-year-old discover about shapes? From an early age, […]