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Journal of Math Circles

Special Issue: The Intersection of Math Circles and the Global Math Project

Articles not for special issue

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MathAmigos: A Community Mathematics Initiative
James C. Taylor, Delara Sharma, and Shannon Rogers

We present a broad, and we think novel, community mathematics initiative in its early stages in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At every level, the program embraces community-wide collaboration—from the leadership team, to the elements of the mathematics being implemented (primarily math circles and the Global Math Project’s Exploding Dots), to the funding model. Our MathAmigos program falls within two categories of math circle-related programs: outreach and professional development (PD). In outreach, we work with the Santa Fe Public School district (administration, teachers, students, and parents) and the City of Santa Fe government (our funders via a two-year contract) in order to implement a program of professional development within a pilot group of five geographically close elementary schools and their grades 3 and 4 teachers. The PD takes the form of Saturday workshops during the school year and an end-of-year three-day intensive. We will touch on one of the more novel components of our PD: the use of retired master teachers as classroom coaches. Our community outreach extends beyond teacher PD to the use of family math festivals to deepen the program’s penetration into the larger community of the five schools. Finally, we have added a formal student math circle in the fall of 2019 that will round out the features mentioned above, and we are proposing a math teachers’ circle to begin that fall as well.

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Connecting Mathematics and Community: Challenges, Successes, and Different Perspectives
Ariel Azbel, Margarita Azbel, Isabella F. Delbakhsh, Tami E. Heletz, and Zeynep Teymuroglu

In this article, we summarize our personal journey to establish a successful math circle in a community that is not very familiar with such mathematics enrichment programs. We share the story of how our math circle began three years ago, as well as the lessons we learned and our organizational challenges and successes. Additionally, we outline three primary perspectives: the founder perspective, the student volunteer perspective, and the faculty volunteer perspective.

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The Signaling Problem: Using Exploding Dots to Solve an Accessible Mystery in an Elementary-Aged Math Circle
Rodi Steinig

Many people want to facilitate Math Circles for younger students but don’t know how. This article provides a model for how to create an engaging Math Circle for students aged 8-10 to explore different number bases and gives a detailed narrative to guide prospective instructors through the class. The narrative follows a group of eight students spending six weeks joyfully discovering underlying mathematical structure without being told what to do.

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Exploding Dots at the MSU-Billings Math Circle
Tien Chih

Global Math Week is an annual event started by Dr. James Tanton and the Global Math Project, connecting students around the world with the mathematics of Exploding Dots. Exploding Dots is a reconceptualization of the mechanics of arithmetic, which allows for a visually intuitive and accessible representation of a variety of mathematical topics ranging from different base representations to the arithmetic of polynomials and series. In this manuscript, we describe the first implementation of Exploding Dots at the MSU-Billings Math Circle. The actual itemized agenda of the session is described, followed by highlights of the session and observations by the author. In particular, as many of the students who participated were of a younger age, or were otherwise less experienced mathematically than others, these specific challenges were addressed. The author offers some insight from their experience conducting this activity, and advice for those who wish to implement similar activities in their outreach programs.

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Commentary From the Field: ELIMU HAINA MWISHO “Education has no Limits”
Erick Mathew

Commentary From the Field: ELIMU HAINA MWISHO “Education has no Limits”

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A Message From the Global Math Project Team
James Tanton

A Message From the Global Math Project Team

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Editorial Introduction to the Journal of Math Circles
Emilie Hancock and Brandy Wiegers

Editorial Introduction to the Journal of Math Circles.