Math Curriculum Has Arrived

Math Curriculum Arrives

Math Curriculum ArrivesThe second book in Principles of Mathematics series is now complete! I’m super excited, not only because it is done, but also because it’s my hope that this material will help students see God’s handiwork in mathematics and realize to a deeper level what an amazing, faithful God we serve. Many students (myself included years ago) wonder why they have to bother learning math (especially when it comes to algebra and other upper-level concepts). This curriculum answers that “why” question, equips students to use math in their own lives, and encourages them that they can trust God completely.

I’ve posted some sample lessons so you can “see” the curriculum.
* View textbook sample.
* View teacher guide/workbook sample.

There are also more details and a way to purchase it at the link below.

https://www.christianperspective.net/product/principles-of-mathematics-biblical-worldview-curriculum-year-2

Math Curriculum SetThe curriculum is designed as a full prealgebra curriculum (grade 7 or 8), but would also work well for older students seeking to understand math’s real purpose.

(If you know of anyone who might be blessed by this curriculum, please pass along the information. I’d also love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.)

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Math and the Presidential Primaries

Math and the Presidential PrimariesOne of the things I stress a lot in my math resources is that math isn’t confined to a textbook. As I’ve been following the presidential elections this year, it occurred to me that it provides a great opportunity to show students math in action. Math is used quite a bit behind the scenes in determining each party’s candidate. Consider these applications:

  • Probably the most obvious math concept the elections show in action is percents. What percent of the vote went for each candidate? What percent of a specific area went to each candidate? What percent of the total delegates to a convention does each candidate have pledged to them? How many votes would a candidate have to receive in order to earn a specific percent if 40% of a specific population end up voting?
  • More percents and other math concepts are used in determining how many delegates are actually assigned to each candidate after an election. This article by the Washington Times gives an overview.
  • Addition (along with more percents, as well as formulas) are used behind the scenes in deciding how many delegates each state gets to send to the national conventions in the first place. See The Green Papers: Republican Detailed Delegate Allocation – 2016 for more details about the republican side; and The Green Papers: Democratic Detailed Delegate Allocation – 2016 for the democrat side.
  • Statistics show up extensively throughout the election process. Polls are based on surveying a random sample of the population and trying to determine the views of the whole off of it. It’s a great time to look at how statistics work (and how easily they can be twisted). See Chapter 11 in Principles of Mathematics for an overview and example.

As you follow the elections, consider looking into your particular state’s primary or caucus system and examining the math behind it. Point out the use of percents, addition, etc. Look at the statistics behind a couple of presidential polls and at what they truly tell us.

Then sit back and remember that math only proves useful because this universe is consistent, and because God gave man the ability to subdue the earth. We’re made uniquely in God’s image, created to worship Him. Remind your students that math is far from meaningless bookwork—it’s a real-life tool that helps us in the tasks God has given us to do.

Math, Fractals, and Worldviews

math, fractals, and worldviews

In this workshop, creation scientist Dr. Jason Lisle explores numbers, using fractals to help show the incredible beauty in even abstract mathematics. Around 36 minutes into the workshop, Dr. Lisle explores the nature of math itself, showing how math simply doesn’t make sense apart from a biblical worldview.

While this isn’t a light video (expect to have to think a little…although you can still get the general idea even if you don’t get the mathematical details), it is an encouraging reminder that there’s amazing beauty in math…and that God is the Creator of that beauty.

Thank you to Don S for sharing the video with me in a comment to a previous post.

Christmas Full Moon – Exploring God’s Creation with Math

moon-1532310You may have seen in the news that this Christmas we’re in for an infrequent sight in the sky: a full moon.

Because of the amazing consistency with which God causes planets and moons to orbit, we can use math to figure out ahead of time on what dates full moons will occur. This year, one’s falling on Christmas. According to NASA, the peak will be at 6:11 a.m. EST.

Pause and think about it for a moment. God causes the moon to orbit so predictably we can confidently figure out ahead of time when it will be full. In light of that kind of greatness, what is man that God should care for us? We’re but a tiny speck in the universe.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4 (ESV)

Yet care God does–enough to humble Himself and become a man. At Christmas, we celebrate the incredible reality that the Creator and Sustainer of all humbled Himself, becoming one of His creation for the purpose of dying in our place.

Math and Chocolate

Math and chocolate–since those are two of my favorite words, imagine my joy when I came across the news that a University College London (UCL) student had been exploring the math behind chocolate fountains.chocolate-fountain

Notice how the chocolate in a chocolate fountain doesn’t flow straight down–it curves slightly inward at each tier. The research–which involved lots of math!–concluded that this is due to surface tension.

“Chocolate fountains are just cool, aren’t they!” said Adam Townsend (UCL Mathematics), lead author of the paper based on his MSci project. “But it’s also nice that they’re models of some very important aspects of fluid dynamics. We’ve used some serious maths to solve a fun problem- why the chocolate ‘curtain’ on a chocolate fountain always falls inwards.” – See more at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1115/251115-chocolate-fountain-physics#sthash.LVBoAQGl.dpuf

Want to learn more? Here’s the UCL article: “Exploring the Physics of Chocolate Fountains”

I would add that chocolate fountains are yet another example of how math helps us understand and describe the orderly way God created and sustains this universe. Until next time, have fun using math to explore God’s creation.

Improbability of Evolution Math Lesson Plan

I was pleased to learn about this middle school math lesson plan that uses math to show the improbability of evolution. (The main math concept is probability, along with large numbers and scientific notation, although others are also used.) While designed specifically for a public school setting, it could be easily adapted for Christian or homeschool. (Thank you, Mr. Karl Priest, for putting it together and letting me know about it!)

I especially loved the suggestion given to have students try to write tally marks to help drive home how much a million is. Coupled with quotes like the one below, it brings home the point that, even from a human reasoning perspective, evolution doesn’t make sense:

“Imagine 10^50 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling of just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.” Fred Hoyle, “The Big Bang in Astronomy”, New Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 1280 (1981): p.527

evo-mathI would just add that evolution and creation can’t be proved—they occurred in the past. The issue ultimately comes down to faith, and that faith shouldn’t rest in our human reasoning of probability, but in the Word of the God who was there and has told us what happened. However, math does show us how even from a human reasoning perspective, evolution doesn’t make sense…and this lesson plan does a wonderful job showing that.

As the cartoon at the end of the lesson plan (and shown here) reminds us, you can’t reason someone into the kingdom of heaven. God has to do a work to change a heart. Let’s make sure we’re sharing the gospel with people as we remind them that creation clearly proclaims a Creator.

Note: If you’re stuck on how to begin sharing the gospel, check out the free resources at LivingWaters.com. He has a lot of helpful training materials to help.

Free Resource: Truth and the Transcendent

truth-transcendentA friend recently let me know that Truth and the Transcendent is now being offered for free online. I was really excited to see that…as now it means I can share it with all of you!

This book, published by Answers in Genesis, is one that I read years ago and found most helpful in wrapping my mind around how math points us to the Creator. As you might guess from the subtitle (The Origin, Nature, & Purpose of Mathematics), Truth & the Transcendent explores the philosophy behind math: what is it and what is its purpose.

My favorite chapter is Chapter 5, where Mr. Zimmerman points out that within math, we have the opportunity to behold God’s glory, allowing that to transform us from the inside out. He begins the chapter like this:

Why is it so important for the Christian to behold the glory of God reflected in mathematics or anywhere else? Simply because beholding the glory of God is the prime directive for spiritual growth.

He goes on to explain that so often we as Christians fall into the trap of trying to make ourselves more Christ-like through simply changing our actions, neglecting the reality that we’re transformed from the inside out as we behold God’s glory.

The key to resolving this tension between what is God’s part and what is my part, as a Christian, is found in II Corinthians 3,4, and 5, the linchpin being 3:18. “But we all, with uncovered faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the likeness to Him, from one degree of splendor to another, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” I become like Christ by beholding His glory.

As we realize how mighty, faithful, wise, etc., God is, it drives away our fear and pride. And within math–as well as every other area of life–we have an opportunity to behold God’s glory, letting our hearts be amazed at His handiwork and reminded to trust Him completely.

Math is an opportunity to behold God’s glory, as well as to complete the tasks He’s given us to do. As Mr. Zimmerman says,

Christian teachers, then, motivate their classes in two valid ways to learn mathematics. First, mathematics exhibits the glory of God, necessary to growth in His image, which is the destiny of Christians. Second, mathematics equips students to care for the creation, under the divine command.

Here’s the link to read Truth and the Transcendent for yourself. If you do, please leave a comment below with your thoughts. And until next time, remember to behold God’s glory as you study math, reflecting on His faithfulness that makes math possible and knowing that He’ll be just as faithful to everything else He says in His Word.

New Math Articles on The Creation Club

original-800x571
image by freeimageslive.co.uk – creator

I’ve recently been asked to do a guest column over at The Creation Club on mathematics and God’s creation. I thought I’d post the links here so you could head over there and enjoy them as well 🙂

Math and the Creator – For many, math has become associated with a subject of number manipulation and rules. Yet math is much, much more than that…

Math, Sunflowers, and God’s Wisdom and Care – Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers. They’re my favorite, not because of their colors or initial beauty, but because of the incredible testimony to God’s wisdom and care hidden inside—a testimony math helps us discover…

I hope you all are having a lovely fall, a giving-thanks-filled November, and a blessed time seeing God’s handiwork in math.

Until next time,

Katherine

 

Writing Update/Math’s Purpose

Principles of Mathematics Book 2So I realized I haven’t written since June and decided it was high time for an update. My writing time this summer has been taken up with finishing up Book 2 of Principles of Mathematics, and I am happy to report that it’s coming along. I would greatly appreciate your continued prayers.

One of the things that excites me about this curriculum is that it will help students understand why they’re learning math. Most students don’t learn how upper-level math applies until college (if then), and by then many have already given up on math. One of the joys and challenges of this new curriculum has been exploring concepts such as exponential growth, interest rates, music, force, motion, etc., in a simple way, using them to help students really see math as a way of describing God’s creation and as a useful tool.

As you head back to school this fall, remember that math isn’t an isolated subject. It’s a real-life tool—a way of describing consistencies God created and sustains. Look for ways to show your children/students math outside of a textbook so they really understand its purpose.

It’s Here! New Biblical Math Curriculum – Plus Video and Upcoming Events

curriculumIt’s still hard for me to grasp the reality that it’s actually done. Writing this math curriculum has been an amazing journey, fraught with unexpected delays (such as a concussion that left me unable to work much on it for more than a year) and challenges. Yet as I look back, I see God’s provision each step along the way.

11071007_10206679672255310_7616273997605696522_nThank you, dear readers, for being a part of that provision—for your prayers and your encouragement. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me. (And please don’t stop praying! I’m still working on Year 2…which is due to come out late this year/early next.)

We decided to extend our pre-order pricing for a little longer, so you can still grab the curriculum at a reduced price you’d like a copy.

Also, I’ll be speaking at a couple of upcoming conventions and would love to see you there (I’ll be at the Master Books booth).

Here are the details:

Virginia – HEAV’s Virginia Homeschool Convention
June 11-13, 2015

Arizona – AFHE Home Education Convention
July 10-11, 2015

As you begin planning for next fall’s school year, don’t let the thought of math scare you. Math is a way of describing God’s creation—it’s a testimony to His faithfulness, wisdom, and greatness. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this short video I made a couple years ago for a quick reminder of how math can be seen from a biblical worldview. This version includes an ending I recently added that offers a quick overview of the curriculum too.