MathFinder and Polypad

Math Walks represent math in the context of questions based on observation of real-world places. Our walks are observation-based, inquiry-based, and real world-based. These tours encourage a personalized math lens, a way of seeing our everyday world through the lens of mathematics – math is a language, which we can use to describe and ask questions about every field that it touches.

Polypad, a learning tool developed by Amplify, allows instructors and students to create interactive digital whiteboards. Partnerships between classrooms and Polypad, facilitated by MathFinder, give students another angle from which to approach math learning. Polypad helps ground Math Walks in school math, without becoming too abstract. Together, these tools allow students to relate abstract math concepts to their own real world & vice versa, deeply exploring the math around them.

In our initial phase of Polypad integration, Math Walk stops from the St. Phillip’s School in Dallas, TX, were adapted into a variety of Polypad workspaces. 5th and 6th grade students using these tools were reported by their instructors as being more engaged in the lesson, and more willing to model out their thinking. It also was noted as providing a means for students to directly interact with and provide feedback on each other’s work, creating a freer discussion space. Links to these videos and paired Polypads are provided below.

Video: What Patterns Can You Find?

  • Polypad #1: Create a pattern with square colors
  • Polypad #2: Create an original pattern with squares and 1⁄2 squares
  • Polypad #3: Create an original pattern with pattern blocks, or build a pattern that repeats that can fill in the hallway
  • Polypad #4: How many ways through a path?

Video: How Many People Can Fit in the Gym?

  • Polypad #1: Picture of Bleachers
  • Polypad #2: Detailed Gym Design
    • How many red seats? Gray? Blue?
    • What would happen if our class only sat in blue seats?
    • Come up with an alternative color design with the same number of each color.
    • Come up with another way to have 488 total seats. You can add rows and aisles
      as you like.
  • Polypad #3: Other Arenas and Gyms

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