Math Moves

Sample Programs

"Math Moves" programs focus on the perceptual and cognitive skills involved in learning math, rather than on memorizing facts.  Students are given experiences to explore in a directed but open-ended way, followed by reflection (recording, analyzing, discussing).  Get ready for a deep dive into the intersections between math and movement!   

"Math Moves" residencies are custom-designed to incorporate a variety of math-related topics that support the development of specific math skills. Following is a sample of programs.   

Dancing Squares.  Students will work with a partner to explore a variety of patterns in math.  Math concepts: geometry, scale, symmetry.  Dance concepts: Scale, shapes, personal space, nonlocomotor movement.

How Many Ways Are There to Shake Hands?  A fresh approach to an ordinary activity.  Math concepts:  counting, combinations, problem definition.  Dance concepts:  Sequence, dynamics. 

Symmetrical Moves.  Introduction to symmetry, with a focus on rotational symmetry.  This pattern can be found everywhere in natural and manmade environments and is a building block for other symmetries.  Topics: Symmetry, visual thinking. 

Expanding Pathways. Thinking and moving with scale.  Math concepts: scale, shape, estimation. Dance concepts: Scale, shapes, locomotor movement.

String Figures.  Storytelling and dancing with cool geometrical string figures!  Math concepts: symmetry, visual thinking.  Dance concepts: shapes, dancing with props. 

Dance Hands. Hands can make a surprising variety of geometric shapes!  Explore the expressive qualities of this part of our bodies.   Math concepts: geometry, polygons, polyhedra, spatial visualization.  Dance concepts: dance with hands, ensemble, shape, transitions. 

Each program will include some or all of the following components:

1)  Creative movement warmups that teach the elements of dance and give children movement tools for individual and group choreography.

2)  Exploration of the selected topic using a combination of class and small group discussion and physical engagement. 

3)  Guided movement exploration using selected concepts from the topic as inspiration and that demonstrate knowledge of the elements of dance as taught.

4)  Creation of whole class and/or small group and/or individual choreographic pieces using the above processes.

5)  Informal showings of student work in class and potentially slightly more formal showings for other classes and members of school community.

6)  Discussion of process touching on the students' learning in dance and the selected topic.

Residency details will be discussed during the planning process, which includes a conference (in person or via phone or Skype) between the artist and teachers or other school staff involved in the residency.

Tennessee Academic Standards for Mathematics

Tennessee Dance Curriculum Standards