How Moving Patterns was made better by colleagues

[ Go Straight to the Kickstarter

MP.2 (2)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.)

Blue Cards

The blue Pattern cards function as little footwork “maps” that show the player how and when to move their feet.

OrangeCards1 (6)

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.

8 things you probably didn’t didn’t know about the creator of Moving Patterns

  1. After college , Malke spent three months in Ireland.  There she learned how to play traditional Irish flute.  The music quickly ignited Malke’s passion for traditional percussive dance, including Cape Breton  step dance and Appalachian clogging styles. 

2. Despite coming to percussive dance later in life, Malke quickly became a professional dancer and musician. She toured and  performed  around the United States and overseas, most notably with the  dance group Footworks and the Riverdance show in London.

3. Back home,  Malke co-founded a band that made use of her footwork as a drum of sorts,  for performances and on both their records (umm…CDs)

4. After some years of performing Malke decided to share her passion for percussive dance with elementary school students, helping them learn how to make their own dance patterns with  their feet.
5. Since then  Malke has taught elementary kids to make their own  footwork- based  patterns while pairing it with math ideas to make their patterns even  more interesting! 

6. Malke loves watching kids make their ideas come to life and the accomplishments she sees in their eyes while they persevere through multiple creative and technical challenges.
7. Oh, yeah!  Malke is a Nationally Credentialed Teaching artist!

8. Fast forward a little bit and now Math in Your feet has been upgraded to a really fun game called MOVING PATTERNS! to move and learn at the same time, now  more than ever! 



Sign up for the Moving Patterns Game!

MP.2 (2)

Hey everyone! I hope you are all well and weathering our current situation. I am continuing to develop ways to bring math and movement together both indoors and outdoors. If you are a member of the Math on the Move Book Group or the group Moving Patterns Game Support on Facebook you will have seen some of my posts about how the game is really the first step to learning about working with math and moving bodies at the same time.


What I noticed during the game pilot at the Boys & Girls Club is that once kids get the hang of the footwork they can basically figure out how the game works. It’s at this point that they start to take ownership of the game.  I won’t be able to be back in real-life classrooms for a while but I know that the current supports in place (links above) will be a good proxy  as we move forward.  If you haven’t yet signed up for the FREE Moving Patterns Game Starter Kit why not try it out? 


Malke Rosenfeld is a 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.