Helping kids to build positive relationships with mathematics is tough. Math can be a source of anxiety, frustration, and alienation for kids. Too many kids wind up saying, “I hate math” or “I’m bad at math.” Other kids, though, find something in math that they come to love, either inside of math class or outside of it. When mathematics proves challenging for these students, having that toehold of personal connection helps them to persevere. You might have had such a formative experience yourself—many such students grow up to be math teachers!
We write Math Munch to help more kids find something mathematical that they love.
Math Munch’s tagline is “A Weekly Digest of the Mathematical Internet.” The internet offers an inexhaustible trove of mathematics to do and see and make and like, if only you know where to look. In fall 2011, we started Math Munch out of a felt need to get more of this great math into the hearts, heads, and hands of our students. In weekly posts, we share stories about ordinary people who have extraordinary passions for mathematics. We share resources that students can use to create math of their own. Perhaps most importantly, we share and model an excitement for exploring mathematics and learning new things. In doing all this, we use language and examples that are accessible to students at least as young as fifth grade, and probably younger—although we don’t expect that every student will understand every item we share.
Math Munch isn’t a product. We write it as a part of our teaching and out of love for our students and mathematics. As such, Math Munch is a free resource available to all, and we don’t make any money writing it. That others beyond our classroom have begun to read it has been a delight.
If a student can find one thing in math that they like—one thing in math that means something to them and that they succeed at—then they can’t get away with saying “I hate math” or “I’m bad at math.” They may not like all math, but no one does. They may not be good at all math, but no one is. Having different tastes and talents is what makes each of us unique. But math belongs to everyone, and Math Munch is our small effort to help people—students and adults—to make that connection.