Prepare to be Inspired! New Math & Dance Resources from a Canadian School Board to Help Guide Your Way

Canada 2

During the fall and winter of the 2017-18 school year teachers and students in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB), Ontario, Canada took the plunge. Using Math on the Move: Engaging Students in Whole Body Learning they bravely began the process of bringing math and dance together into the same learning context. Mary Walker Hope, who spearheaded the process, invited me to observe and celebrate the final presentations of children in grades one through eight. During my video chat observations I was incredibly inspired to see how the process laid out in Chapters 4 & 5 of Math on the Move had supported both children and teachers alike.

At the very end of their math and dance project Mary created three individual e-books recounting their work, with a special emphasis on the process. She writes:

Through integrating math and the arts, we engaged our students as inquirers, collaborators, creators, problem solvers, artists, dancers and mathematicians.

We began our journey from a creatively curious stance and with humility. We inquired, persevered, and solved. We learned how to teach math through dance and dance through math. We discovered through our collaborative inquiry that math, dance, language, music, and art are as interconnected as the processes we use to understand, solve, and create.

These three e-books are divided by grade band and FULL of documentation of their math/dance making process from start to finish including:

  • Introductory activities
  • Insights and encouragement for teachers around negotiating math and dance in the classroom at the same time
  • Details about what each step of the process looks like in each grade band
  • Lots of videos illustrating a variety of student work
  • Step-by-step examples of the making process
  • Examples of what they did to apply, extend, reflect, and assess the math/dance work
  • Finally, these e-books provide an overall positive and encouraging message for teachers who might be ready to jump in to #movingmath!

These are real kids and real teachers making gorgeous math and dance.  YOU CAN TOO!

The books are linked below. You might also be interested in another post on this blog inspired by the Canadian crew called “Why Math in your FEET?” which provides an explanation of percussive dance and the different kinds of sounds you can make with your feet while dancing.

Malke Rosenfeld CroppedMalke 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.You can find out more about her work at,  on Twitter,  Instagram, or Facebook.

Slow-Paced Book Study of Math on the Move [June 1 – November 30, 2018]

ANNOUNCEMENT: The slow book study of Math on the Move has been cancelled due to lack of participation. However, I wrote the book as an in-depth resource for teachers and created the associated Facebook group as a place of conversation, support and resources for bringing whole-body math learning into the classroom. The group was created to support YOU in getting started with this new modality for teaching and learning. PLEASE feel free to ask us anything! Speaking of resources, I update this document on a semi-regular basis.

Format graphic

#Foreword #movingmath
#Introduction #movingmath
#CH1pp1thru8 #movingmath
#CH1pp8thru15 #movingmath
#CH2pp16thru28 #movingmath

Based on the tenet that learning takes time I am starting a slow-paced investigation and discussion of the ideas and activities in my book Math on the Move: Engaging Students in Whole Body Learning. The book study opens June 1, 2018 and wraps up November 30, 2018 on both Twitter and in our book group on Facebook. If you have a FB account you can join the group by clicking here.  When requesting to join (if you aren’t yet a member) please make sure to answer the question so I know you’re not a robot or whatever. And, just to be clear, You can progress through the book as quickly or slowly as you like.

This post will serve as an introduction and reminder of the processes by which we will be making meaning together around the topic of whole-body math learning and teaching. Our book study format is a combination of individual public reflection on the reading and conversations in community focused on the ideas and questions we have while reading.

If you do not yet have a copy of Math on the Move you can download the free sample chapter which includes the Foreword, Introduction and first chapter. This will begin your book study journey. Download this chapter and/or buy the book at the Heinemann website. If you are outside the U.S. please check a Book Depository website in your part of the world.

This book study includes small sections of reading followed by responses to four standard questions for each section. This format is adapted from the Reflective Review Protocol from the Artful Tools resource. Artful tools create a descriptive setting in which learners are supported in perceiving deeply, thinking critically, and making meaning, and asks:

  • How do we create a safe space for all voices to come forward?
  • How do we honor all perspectives and encourage critical thought and questions?
  • What is the value of deferring judgment in a learning setting?

Each section of text will be denoted and searchable with the same hashtags used on both Facebook and Twitter. For example, we will start by reading the Foreword by Max Ray-Riek; the hashtags for this first section of reading will be #forward and #movingmath. From there we will use a #CHpp format (ex: #CH1pp1thru8) and #movingmath. As we move (ha!) through our reading You will be able to return to the discussions in any section using the specific hashtags, all of which will be updated and archived in this Google doc.

Book study participants respond to each section by answering the following four questions:

  1. What do you notice? Describe what you read without judgment. If judgment emerges, please provide evidence on which the judgment is based: What did you read that makes you say that? How did this section feel to you as a learner? As a teacher? Answer using descriptive terms, without making judgments about the quality of the work or offering personal preferences: “I notice that . . .”
  2. What questions does it raise? What  questions does the text trigger? Raise any questions about the work with “I wonder…”
  3. Speculate about what the text helps you understand: What do you think is the author’s intent? What do you think are the intended understandings? What is the author trying to help readers understand? Respond with what meaning you take away using the phrase: “I speculate that . . .”
  4. Respond/Open Dialogue/Reflect: Participate in an open dialogue with other book study participants about the section in question. This is time for participants to share new ideas for next steps and respond to one another directly about what they read, what they still wonder about, etc.

I am very much looking forward to learning and thinking with you! However, I can also imagine that once things get started there may be some hiccups or little things to be worked out in our process. If this happens I will communicate any changes/adjustments on Twitter and Facebook and record any changes I make to the process as edits to this post. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions or concerns along the way.

Let’s get started!

Malke Rosenfeld is a percussive dance teaching artist, 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.You can find out more about her work at,  on Twitter,  Instagram, or Facebook.