The Reflective Educator

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Math in movement

Bon Crowder shared this very interesting TED talk about some of the mathematics in movement and dance. I recommend reading her post to see some more resources on the mathematics of dance and movement.


Erik and Karl show some ways in which one can explore combinatorics, topology, symmetry, patterns in numbers, and fractions through movement.

An obvious question I have is, where else could we embed movement into mathematics?

  • Students could count their steps while they move from classroom to classroom, or count steps as they climb them.
  • A teacher could put a giant number line (or cartesian plane) on the floor of their classroom and students could practice arithmetic visually.
  • Students could verify the Pythagorean theorem by counting steps as they walk along the legs and hypotenus of a large right-angled triangle on a playing field.
  • When students all dance in a group, they could create tesselation patterns as they move across the dance floor in a group. They may need to see a video (shot from above) of themselves moving to see why this is interesting.

What are some other ways in which we could use movement activities to explore mathematical ideas?