??? WHAT ARE MATH PALS ???
You know what a pen pal is, right? You trade letters with a pen pal to learn about each other. Well, a math pal is like that, but you trade ideas about math. You can choose to send letters through the mail or by email.
HOW DO I FIND A MATH PAL?
Math Cats will help your class find another class to be your math pals. (If you are a kid, ask your teacher to sign your class up for Math Pals!) Use the signup form at the bottom of this page.
WHAT CAN MATH PALS WRITE ABOUT?
Classes of math pals can agree to write about any math topic, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
* Agree on a math challenge to discuss and solve.
Many possible challenges are archived at the MathMagic area of the Math Forum: www.mathforum.com/mathmagic/
* Trade math story problems:
Each student writes and sends one or more math story problems (without giving the answers). Or: Teachers could pose problems to the students. These story problems might be a bit complex and worthy of discussion. The math pals write back and forth to share their thoughts, questions, and explanations until they agree on an answer. They could also draw pictures of the math story problems.
* Compare math topics and approaches.
Discuss the differences in what each class is currently studying as well as the differences in classroom environment, learning and teaching styles, and life in general.
* Share favorite math activities:
What are your favorite math games? Do you know any math puzzles or riddles?
* Write about where you find math in your community:
 Interview adults and youths in your community to find out how they use math in their daily lives and in their work. Share your interviews.
 Go on a math hike in your neighborhood and write about what you find: What geometric shapes do you find? Where do you find math in nature?
* Trade math art:
Create geometric designs, 3D space forms, or other math crafts and send them to your math pals. Decorate your classroom.
* "Time" for math:
 Write down your schedule on a typical day. When do you get up? Eat breakfast? Leave the house? Arrive at school? and so on. When do you go to bed?
 How much time do you spend each day (or each week) in school? in bed? eating? watching TV? playing outside? reading? doing your favorite hobby? Make a pie chart.
* Conduct math surveys:
Conduct class surveys, graph the results, and compare with your math pals. Or survey 100 people in each school and compare the results. Possible survey questions to get started:
 What is your favorite color? food? music group? TV show? sport? book?
 How much time do you spend each week doing... (whatever)?
 How many pets do you have?
* Conduct a math/science experiment:
Grow plants from seeds... Check your classmates' heart rates after 100 jumping jacks... conduct a paper airplane contest... and then share, compare, and discuss your findings with your math pals.
* For math pals of different grade levels:
The younger group can tell the older group what they are currently learning in math, and the older group might offer help and extra insights: how will these math skills be expanded upon in the future? Where will these skills take them later in their schooling?
