- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852908
- First Name Erin
- Last Name Barta
- Institution University of Nebraska Omaha
- Role/Position Noyce Scholar
- Workshop Category Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends
- Workshop Disciplines Audience Mathematics
- Target Audience Noyce Master Teachers, Noyce Teaching Fellows, Undergraduate and/or Graduate Noyce Scholars
- Topics Community Building: Supporting Teacher Educators and Pre-Service Teachers
- Session Length 75 minutes minutes
- Additional Presenter(s)
Emily Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Attendees will learn different Math Magic tricks and their application to use in their classroom. Attendees will understand the importance of using Math Magic tricks in the classroom. Attendees will know how to apply recreational math to increase engagement and offer opportunities to students of all levels in their classroom.
As Math Magic is a recently developed project of the UNO Noyce Program, and one established during the COVID pandemic, we have yet to conduct and apply formal research of its impact. We hope to do so in the upcoming semesters of our involvement with the Program. As to current experiences we can provide, we have conducted multiple outreach events, such as our Math Magic Show for a homeschooling group in Greenwood, IA, our STEM 4U Family Night Earth Day Magic Show, and our presentation at the Noyce Midwestern Regional Conference this past February. During these events, we received positive feedback from all the families, students, and educators we have interacted with about the Math Magic tricks and their classroom application. As we provide the materials, educators were excited for a low-cost activity they can easily implement into their curriculum as ”low-floor, high-ceiling” activities for their students. Mitchell and Cummings (2017) discuss the importance of these tricks for students and educators, as the use of these tricks was shown to help alleviate math anxiety and promote self-efficiency among students (p. 5, 7).Reference: Mitchell, M., & Cummings, J. (2017). (rep.). When and How to Use Math Based Card Tricks in the Classroom. California State University.
Engaging in mathematics has been a struggle, both in the classroom and in the community. Building a love for math takes time, and many students cite that it is too complicated or boring to find interesting; however, by using recreational math topics, we are able to show how rethinking mathematics can also be engaging. Gaining this engagement allows students to see the “fun” sides of math, something Math Magic can help educators with. Math Magic is a collection of magic tricks based on mathematical concepts. Too often, mathematical concepts are shown to be worthwhile only through other subjects, such as Science. That approach neglects to show how mathematical reasoning can be engaging by itself as well as through application. In this workshop, we will demonstrate how Math Magic can be used as a tool for educators to use in the classroom to increase student engagement through “low-floor, high ceiling” activities, and share how they might implement Math Magic in their own setting. We will also share the current work and past outreach we have done with this project. Math Magic offers a low-cost, easily accessible math learning task for educators and students to engage in at home with their families and at school. The implications for Math Magic regard topics such as community engagement, student achievement, and critical thinking and problem-solving.