The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

New Topics: The Harlem Renaissance, Trip Planning, and Card Games

New Topics for Homeschoolers ages 10-13! The Harlem Renaissance, Part I February 15th – March 22 Thursdays, 9-11 am, ages 10-13 5 weeks, $82 This class will focus on the African American musicians, writers, artists, and leaders from Harlem, NYC in the 1920’s. Through the study of the icons from that time, and through our own artistic expression, we’ll draw…

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Reading Shakespeare for Homeschooled Teens

We had great success of reading Julius Caesar, and the unanimous vote of the participants is read more Shakespeare. This class is perfect for teens who want to experience the sound of reading Shakespeare’s plays outside of the theater.  New participants are encouraged to join us. We start reading Macbeth next week. We have extended the homeschool Shakespeare class all…

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Embodied Mathematics

(Nov 2 – Dec 7, 2017) Our 5-7 year olds just spent five weeks experiencing math with their bodies.* You can see some footage of this circle in action on the video we produced during the course. Thanks to all the students and parents who participated. Here’s a list/description of every activity we did.   Role-playing the need for math…

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Algorithms, Algebra, and College Admissions

(October 19 and 26, 2017) “Today we’re going to do something we’ve never done in a math circle here. We’re going to take a quiz.” Stricken looks on faces. “We’ll do it together, it’s just 2 questions, and I think it will be fun.” Relief. “I’m always on the lookout for things related to algorithms to share with you, and…

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Spotify and Random Number Generators

(October 12, 2017) “Everybody get a partner. Take a piece of paper. Take a pencil. Number your paper 1-30. You’re all going to flip a coin 30 times. In each partnership, decide which person will flip a real coin and which person will flip an imaginary coin.” That got their attention! I needed to harness their attention because many of…

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Stable Marriage, part 2

(October 5, 2017) We continued work on the Stable Marriage Problem today. After a discussion of the field of mathematics known as game theory, I put on the board the Jane Austen example that Emily Rhiel used in her Numberphile video. Six students used this example to teach the Gale Shapley algorithm to two students who had not been in…

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A People’s History of the United States: The Color Line

We discussed the formation of racism in the colonies and considered the question of if racism is a natural human tendency or a manufactured institution.

The Stable Marriage Problem (Gale Shapley Algorithm)

(October 2, 2017) I discovered this problem and was so excited – my students would love it, it directly tied in to the topic of our course, and it was a good example of a mathematical algorithm that all of the students would have sufficient math background to work. I wanted to do it right away, so I discarded my…

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Exploring the Google Page Rank Algorithm

(September 14, 2017) This week we talked about the Google PageRank algorithm. I facilitated it in the same way that Dr. Emile Davie Lawrence did at the recent National Math Festival in DC. I was fortunate to be in the audience during her presentation, which was recorded and available for viewing here: http://nationalmathfestival.org/photos-videos/. In Dr. Lawrence’s session, she remarkably interacted…

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A People’s History of the United States: Columbus on Trial

This week we conducted an involved role-playing exercise created by Bill Bigelow, Zinn Education Project co-director, called “The People vs. Columbus, et al.” Following the script in the exercises, we divide the participants into 5 groups; each group represented either Columbus, Columbus’ Men, King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella, Taínos, or The System of Empire. By working hard to defend each of these groups, the hope was that each group would be examined for its complicity in this crime.