MaryAnn Moore makes math easy to understand | ParkRecord.com

MaryAnn Moore makes math easy to understand

Scott Iwasaki
MaryAnn Moore, editor and lead writer for the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics blog, will give a presentation called ÒMath Is Awesome: Helping Children Find Joy in MathÓ at the Park City Museum on May 4, from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Parents are encouraged to attend. The discussion is presented in connection with the museumÕs exhibit ÒGo Figure,Ó which teaches simple math concepts through childrenÕs books. (Courtesy of MaryAnn Moore)
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MaryAnn Moore, editor and lead writer for the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics blog, has always been at ease working with numbers.

"It’s always been something that I’ve been good at and because I’ve been able to explain the concepts well, many people have asked me to teach them math from the time I was 14," said Moore, who teaches junior high school mathematics in the Davis School District. "I think because many people thought math was hard to do and I could do it easily only made it seem more valuable to me."

Moore will share her love of math when she gives a presentation, "Math Is Awesome: Helping Children Find Joy in Math," to adults at the Park City Museum’s conference room on Wednesday, May 4.

The free event will run from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. and is presented in connection with the museum’s current traveling exhibit "Go Figure," which teaches simple math concepts through children’s books.

The goal of the presentation is to help parents help their children enjoy math, according to Moore.

"Kids and parents feel a lot of pressure when it comes to mathematics and the general air about the subject isn’t one of the most positive things in the world," she said. "So, the idea of the presentation is to help parents and children find ways to have fun with math together."

Moore will discuss six different ideas, culled from Youcubed, a Stanford University-based nonprofit that inspires math success for all students through growth mindsets and innovative teaching.

Those concepts are:

  • Playing math games and doing puzzles
  • Encouraging the children and speaking positively about mathematics
  • Never associating math with speed. It’s not important to work quickly
  • Never telling your kids you were bad at math when you were a kid
  • Encouraging number sense, which entails having an idea of number sizes and being able to separate and combine numbers
  • Encourage a growth mindset by letting students know they have unlimited math potential

    "I will give the parents ideas of how to do all of these and we will do a lot of the things together in the presentation," Moore said. "I usually do presentations for math teachers, so it will be fun to do this with a different audience."

    Throughout her career as a math teacher, Moore has experienced some interesting encounters.

    "When people find out that I’m a math teacher, especially junior high math, they tell me I’m a saint," she said with a laugh. "I’ve had so many people tell me that they are bad at math and that’s strange to me because we never go to English teachers and say that we’re not literate. That’s just something that we don’t proclaim in public. But it’s different when it comes to math anxieties."

    Diane Knispel, education director for the Park City Museum, contacted Moore a few weeks ago and asked her to do the presentation.

    "Since the [‘Go Figure’] exhibit is geared towards children, I wanted to do something for parents," Knispel said.

    She knew about the national councils for history teachers, English teachers and math teachers and started from there.

    "These councils have a lot of resources and give teachers ideas and lesson plans, books, and host conferences that follow the curriculum," Knispel said. "I decided to go locally and contacted the Utah Math Council to see if anyone would be interested in giving a lecture. And that’s how I found MaryAnn, who said she would be happy to come to Park City."

    The Park City Museum, 528 Main St., will present a lecture titled "Math is Awesome: Helping Children Find Joy in Math" by Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics blog editor and lead writer MaryAnn Moore on Wednesday, May 4, from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Diana Knispel at 435-649-7457 Ex. 102 or email education@parkcityhistory.org.


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