STEAMed Magazine January 2016 - Page 20

An art gallery opens The following day, the kindergarteners entered their classroom and discovered that their teacher had transformed a classroom wall into an art gallery (figures 8 and 9). The students gathered around the “exhibit,” marveling at how different everyone’s starry art appeared, in terms of their colored night skies and villages, and the number and color of star stickers used to decorate the night skies. Figure 8 Figure 9 Math + art makes sense! Children are naturally inclined to observe and organize what they see so they can describe it logically. Thus, data collection and analysis are vital skills that need to be taught. The aforementioned integrated math-art activity demonstrates how the visual arts are a perfectly suitable choice for allowing children to engage in the exploration, organization, and interpretation of data. Encourage your students to put on their “math goggles®” and discover how art can be used to teach mathematics! NOTE: The author would like to thank Samantha Ahern, Caren Roderick, Autumn Rosser, and Julie Yater, kindergarten teachers at All Saints’ Episcopal School, who encouraged their students to put on their math goggles® and contributed to the art featured in this article. Robin A. Ward, Ph.D., a former aerospace engineer and educational consultant for NASA, is a Professor of Mathematics and the Director for Curriculum Integration for the Rice University School Mathematics Project. Additionally, Robin teaches an integrated math-visual arts program for students enrolled in the Early Childhood Program at All Saints’ Episcopal School in Fort Worth, Texas. Robin has written six books and over 40 publications, which focus on effective mathematics pedagogy, with an emphasis on integrating the visual arts and children’s literature in the teaching of K-8 mathematics. Robin provides extensive professional development to teachers interested in infusing the visual arts into STEM. STEAMed Magazine 20 January 2016 Edition