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ERIC Number: EJ1141245
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Math Madness: Coloring, Reasoning, and Celebrating
Wasserman, Nicholas H.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v23 n8 p468-475 Apr 2017
As a parent, the author stepped into his child's class on a Friday morning to a room buzzing with activity. Parents walked around the room, coffee and bagel in hand, reading stories that their child (and others) had drafted, revised, written, and illustrated. Students eagerly shared their stories and drawings, cherishing the comments and praise from their parents (and others). Writing was a favorite subject, and "reaching a higher reading level" filled the hallways as students' goals for the year. All of this was great. The problem was the lack of anything remotely comparable in mathematics. So, the author's daughter's second-grade teacher and the author, a mathematics teacher educator, brainstormed ideas to do something similar in mathematics (at least once). They decided that this project would have to accomplish a few things: It must: (1) be a problem that students would work on, revise, and reason about for multiple days; (2) result in a student-created work at the end, that students' parents would have to explore; (3) be enjoyable; and (4) have some meaningful mathematics that related to what they already had learned or were learning. And so it--what would later be dubbed "Math Madness"--began. The project ultimately introduced students to graph theory--in particular, graph coloring. In this article, the author describes the activity and some of the thinking behind the decisions as well as some of the reactions to it.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A