“How cool is it that kids will choose to give up recess to do math”? Annette Raphel gushed recently after meeting with 3rd graders during her recent Tuesday Math Lunch. Demand for this new lower school lunch activity has been exciting! Each Tuesday, the room fills up as children file in with their lunches in hand to engage in some math calisthenics. The goal of Math Lunch is to show children that they can have fun with math and to see it’s many real-world applications. Mrs. Raphel likens this activity to “recreational reading”. “We encourage students to do recreational reading so why not encourage them to do recreational math”?
Whether working alone or collaborating with a friend, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have an opportunity to problem solve and really push their mathematical thinking without the fear of evaluation, grades, or judgment. Last Tuesday, 3rd graders were problem solving with money, looking at patterns and combinations. In previous weeks, 4th graders engaged in logical thinking given a grid and some clues and 5th graders have tackled algebraic thinking as they dove into three-way problem solving. On a rotating basis, students from each grade take turns going to Tuesday’s math lunch. Mrs. Raphel, DCD’s new Math evangelist has been working with all the children in the lower school in both formal and recreational settings to encourage mathematical thinking and attacking “desirable difficulties” outside of their normal curriculum. The children are really enjoying it and are not afraid to ask for more!