Sooo…I have been bringing percussive dance and math together into elementary classrooms for over 16 years. During that time I’ve shared my approach to whole-body math learning with my book Math on the Move: Engaging Children in whole body learning. book Published by Heinnemann. learning in 2016.
The last few years I’ve focused on re-imagining my flagship program Math in Your Feet™ to make this school day program more accessible to teachers, parents, and caregivers than I could ever reach one classroom at a time…and the Moving Patterns Game was born!
My advisers in this game making endeavor include:
- Max Ray-Riek (@maxrayriek) who did some awesome brainstorming with me around the mathematical content.
- John Golden (@mathhombre) who helped me with making it a real game!
- Finally, I am indebted to Christopher Danielson (@Trianglemancsd) and the awesome volunteers at the Math on a Stick exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair over the past few years.
Here’s how the game works in a nutshell…
The Moving Patterns Game is an active, self-directed game featuring patterns, footwork, friends, and math. Dancing makes life fun, and math makes the dancing more interesting! This playful and creative body-based game challenges players to collaboratively decode and dance a series of footwork-based “maps” (called Pattern Cards.)
The blue Pattern cards function as little footwork “maps” that show the player how and when to move their feet.
The orange Challenge cards provide mathematical prompts for making the footwork maps more interesting and changing each pattern in some way, leading to the creation of new footwork based dance patterns. Paired together they become potent choreographic prompts where players can literally play around with both math and dance at the same time.
About the Game:
The Moving Patterns Game is based on a style of dance called “percussive dance” where you make rhythm and patterns with your feet at the same time. Percussive dance includes tap dance, step dance, clogging, and many other foot based styles.
I am acutely aware that I bring the two most anxiety producing subjects together but don’t let that get in the way of a playing a really fun game! If you are not sure about how it works, please know there will be a number of supports provided along the way will be a variety of supports to help you learn how to play the game, especially an online instructional video and the Facebook Group Moving Patterns Game Support. |You can join the group any time. Check it out now!! Hope to see you there!
Malke Rosenfeld is a percussive dance teaching artist, Heinemann author, editor, math explorer, and presenter whose interests focus on the learning that happens at the intersection of math and the moving body. She delights in creating rich environments in which children and adults can explore, make, play, and talk math based on their own questions and inclinations.