Fun Math Club

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California Math Standards Fun Math Club Lessons Example Lesson The Underlying Mathematics
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California Math Standards

The Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools broadly define the mathematical knowledge and skills that students must learn in their K-12 years in order to be prepared "for the study of advanced mathematics, science and technical careers, and postsecondary study in all content areas." For elementary and middle grade levels, K-7 the standards identifies five general areas, or strands, which contain specific requirements for math competency:

  1. number sense
  2. algebra and functions
  3. measurement and geometry
  4. statistics, data analysis, and probability
  5. mathematical reasoning

The goal of Fun Math Club is reinforce and exercise the mathematical knowledge and skills taught as part of math curriculum designed to meet the math standards. Although many Fun Math Club lessons explain and teach new terminology, concepts, principles, and skills, the lessons are focused on applying previously learned skills. All Fun Math Club lessons exercise at least two of the standards strands, one of them being mathematical reasoning. This standard strand is unique in that it is not a content domain. In particular, it is the standard that includes logical reasoning and problem solving skills. These skills are required in order to apply the concepts, formulas, skills, etc. from any of the other standards strands to real life problems. All Fun Math Club lessons develop logical reasoning and problem solving abilities.

View the lesson matrix.

Fun Math Club Lessons

Fun Math Club offers an ever-growing collection of lessons that exercise mathematics skills and promotes the appreciation of the diversity of mathematics. The lessons target different grade levels but due to the unique nature of the lesson content, many lessons are applicable to a wide range of grade levels.

Click on the table to the left to see a matrix outlining lessons currently being offered in various Fun Math Club programs. For each lesson, the table shows the target grade levels, the California math standards that are exercised during the lessons, and a brief lesson summary.

Fun Math Club Lesson Example

Fun Math Club lessons are designed for 45-60 minutes of instruction comprised of short lecture phases interspersed with individual or group activities. Lectures are presented on overhead slides. Overhead slides are also used to share student solutions to problems solved in class.

Lessons begin with an introduction to the basic mathematical concepts needed for the lesson's main activity. This may be a review of terminology and concepts, or it may be more complete definitions and examples of more advanced concepts needed for the lesson. Once the necessary background material has been presented, the lesson's main activity starts. This may be solving puzzles or problems, playing games, trying to understand and learn a magic trick, producing a work of art, etc.

Depending on the lesson, there may be one or more checkpoints during the lesson's activity where observations are made and discussed, where students present solutions to problems, where further instruction is given, where hints are suggested, etc.. Some lessons have multiple activities, where the later activities make use experience gained from earlier activities and allow the student to apply the knowledge gained in different settings.

Classroom2 Click here to see an example of the Fun Math Club presentation slides for the "Latin Squares and Art" lesson and the associated worksheet.

The Underlying Mathematics

Fun Math Club lessons exercise and reinforce math concepts from elementary and middle school math curricula using examples from a range of mathematics areas. In order to provide math enrichment, Fun Math Club creates lessons based on advanced topics in mathematics that contain material that students do not normally see in the classroom. Fun Math Club draws its lessons from examples in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, and abstract algebra. These areas of mathematics contain a range of topics within the grasp of elementary and middle school students and lead to many examples that exercise basic arithmetic and geometry skills, and, most importantly, problem solving skills.

Since early mathematics education focuses on integer and rational arithmetic, and on Euclidean geometry, any examples from more advanced math must be, for the most part, dependent only on these concepts. Discrete mathematics, in particular, provides many topics based on integer and rational arithmetic. Fun Math Club has created elementary lessons in problem solving from combinatorics and graph theory topics such as Eulerian circuits, graph coloring, combinatorial designs, finite geometries, and Latin squares. Combinatorial geometry, an area fitting between combinatorics and geometry also provides lesson topics including polyominoes, tiling, and plane configurations.

Besides the areas associated with discrete mathematics, elementary number theory and abstract algebra provide topics to exercise basic math and problem solving skills at the elementary and middle school level. Fun Math Club lessons offers lessons based on Egyptian fractions, Farey fractions, Euclidean algorithm, divisibility tests, modular arithmetic, and finite groups.

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