This class will focus on creative approaches to mathematical problem-solving. Topics covered vary based on students' interest and questions, but will focus on combinatorics, which may include explorations of combinations and permutations, combinatorial game theory, graph theory and graph-based games, combinatorial arguments in number theory, and many others.
We will incorporate student-run discussions as well as group and individual problem solving, and use visualizations as often as possible. This will encourage the development of higher-order thinking skills such as logic, problem-solving, making connections, finding patterns, and being able to tackle entirely new problems by breaking them into smaller, more familiar situations. We will also encourage viewing mistakes as an unavoidable and often necessary part of the learning process, and work to break free of the all too common fear of getting it wrong that can underlie lifelong math phobia and perfectionism.
This class provides a new approach to math and is appropriate for all students, whether they are looking for a challenge, prepping for a math competition, or finding themselves struggling to enjoy math in the traditional classroom. Note that 10-year-olds can choose between the section for kids ages 8-10 or 9-11; the older section will move a bit quicker, and assume that students are fully comfortable with the concepts of multiplication and division.