Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Stimulate Math Class Discussion with Poems

     Sometimes teachers want to understand more about their students' attitudes and concerns about learning a particular subject.  Often, rather than asking direct questions like, "What is your difficulty?" or "Why don't you like geometry?" it can be useful to stimulate discussion with a poem.   The website of the Academy of American Poets, offers at this link a wide selection of poems about school subjects.  Scrolling down through this long list, eventually one comes to Poems for Math Class -- with poems for Algebra, Calculus, and Geometry.  

     One of the Academy's suggested poems is "Calculations" by Brenda Cardenas  -- I offer the first stanza below -- the complete poem is included here in this posting from November, 2017.  

          from    Calculations      by Brenda Cárdenas    

          “I don’t know what to tell you.
           Your daughter doesn’t understand
           math. Numbers trouble her, leave
           her stuck on ground zero.”             . . .  read more here . . .

The poets.org listing also includes the Kiss Over Zero” by George David Clark  (previously mentioned here in this blog) and “The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem” by Amy Uyematsu, a poet and former high school math teacher who often writes mathy poems -- here is a link to Uyematsu's various contributions to this blog.

ALSO, you can try a SEARCH of this blog to find mathy poems on a particular topic.  
For example,
here is a link to postings connected to imaginary numbers.

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