Is the story of Exploding Dots truly relevant to both primary AND secondary students? You said it starts at the very beginning of mathematics.
Have you ever seen an abacus? It just a set of rods with beads on it. On a basic abacus each rod has ten beads which you slide to the top. But the idea is that when you do slide all ten beads to the top, you push them back down again and slide just one bead up on the next rod over. People have been using abaci for millennia for counting and doing arithmetic.
But the amazing thing is, if you take this familiar idea and tweak it just a little, a whole new universe of amazing mathematics opens up to you. Instead of using beads and rods, draw dots and boxes. Instead of sliding beads, make them explode. Now you have … you got it … Exploding Dots!
Primary School: See the arithmetic algorithms as a beautiful story and see the role they play in advanced high-school mathematics.
High School: Start at the beginning and within 20-30 minutes you’ll be doing polynomial algebra and infinite sums with astounding clarity. You will see the WHOLE story of arithmetic and algebra united.
What exactly is Global Math Week? How do I and my students participate?
Global Math Week starts October 10 and ends October 17. (It is actually eight days long!)
The idea is that we’re asking teachers and math club leaders and math circle leaders, or anyone, to have a first conversation on the topic of Exploding Dots with students some time during that week – one class period, half a class period, even just 15 minutes is possible and will count!
Then know that millions of people across the planet have already had this experience and millions more will be doing so with you during Global Math Week. Wow!
Here’s what to do:
What are Exploding Dots?
Exploding Dots is the name of an astounding mathematical story that starts at the very beginning of mathematics – it assumes nothing – and swiftly takes you a wondrous journey through grade school arithmetic, high-school polynomials algebra, infinite sums, and advanced mathematics and unsolved research problems baffling mathematicians still to this day.
It starts with the mathematics you already know and transforms it in astounding new light. You and your students will immediately see the power YOU EACH have to play with and understand advanced mathematics with absolute ease.
Learn about the magic of Exploding Dots RIGHT NOW here!
See a one-hour lecture (the full story!) here.
For what grade levels are Exploding Dots best suited?
The story of Exploding Dots is best for students aged around 10 or so, for high school students, for college students, and for all adults interested in exploring cool and exciting mathematics!
Youngsters just starting out to learn about numbers, place value, and basic arithmetic can enjoy the pre-Exploding Dots (język angielski) activities provided by our partner organization Matific. That work too counts towards Global Math Week!
Is there material to engage younger students too? Can my whole K-12 school participate?
Exploding Dots is the story of the surprising power of thinking deeply about place value. As such, K-3 educators play a vital role in setting the scene for this story. Our partner organization, Matific, is providing a suite of pre-Exploding Dots activities so that the whole community of K-12 teachers and students can participate in Global Math Week.
How long will it take me to go through an Exploding Dots experience with students?
Not long! In 15 minutes you can have your first “wow” moment. In 30 minutes you can have a mind-blown moment. In a little bit more time you can have multiple mind-blown moments. And soon after that you can see a whole universe of mathematics to explore and play with before your very eyes.
After course, it is up to you how fast or slow you want to experience and play with this story. Do it all in one hit. (A complete, fast, action-packed version takes 75 minutes.) Do little bits, all slowly. Just do one bit or two, or all of the bits over a period of time. It’s your math to enjoy, so enjoy it and do it any way you like best!
Really? Only 15 minutes of class time?
Yes! In 15 minutes it is possible to have a first “wow” moment with students in the story of Exploding Dots. That wow moment counts! See the 15-minute guide here to see how.
Of course, longer experiences and conversations are welcome too.
How will I know that people all across the planet are having the same experience as me and my students? How will they know that we are part of the global phenomenon?
There are two things to do here: Make sure you register on our Global Math Week site so that your students are counted as part of the global conversation – and that will make sure your city registers too on the map, and your country!
And then when you do have your first Exploding Dots conversation with students -- whenever in the week you choose to do it -- do let the world know you’re doing it. Make a comment about the experience, share a photo, share a video on social media. Our official hashtag on twitter is #gmw2021 but you can do #explodingdots too. You can post on our Facebook page too.
I'll be leading an Exploding Dots session this year, but will have a mixed audience of students: some who saw it last year and some who have never seen it. Is there an Exploding Dots activity I can do that will work for everyone at once?
Yes! Check our James' EXPERIENCE 11: Grape Codes & Napier's Checkerboard of his personal site for two activities which can be done independently or together (depending on how much time you have) and give a new Exploding Dots experience with no prerequisite knowledge.
For those looking for some advanced mathematics, EXPERIENCE 10 is new too!
Do you really expect tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people to be discovering the magic of Exploding Dots all during that week?
Yes! And we can say that with confidence. During our inaugural Global Math Week in 2017 and 2018 over 5 million students took part in the global event, and folk have been continuing to play with Exploding Dots ever since. We’re going for a total count of 10 million students for Global Math Week!
So don’t miss out! Register! Plan to do something –big or little – with students. And have their participation count by registering.
This is a wonderful and amazing global phenomenon. Make sure you and your students count!
Where do I go to get started?
Does the topic of Exploding Dots follow a particular curriculum?
Exploding Dots covers arithmetic and algebra of school mathematics – and more! – but is not tied to a particular curriculum. It is directly relevant to classroom work and remains universal.
Do I need technology in my classroom?
We have full technology, low technology, and no technology options available for conducting Exploding Dots with students. The teaching guides here explain how.
Are the materials provided free? Do they go away after Global Math Week?
All the materials will remain freely available in perpetuity. There is plenty of time to explore the whole Exploding Dots experience at your and your students’ leisure.
Are materials available in multiple languages? Are they captioned?
We are a grass-roots organization and our volunteers are helping us translate materials into multiple languages. Each chapter of James’s personal site here (see lesson 1.1, lesson 2.1, lesson 3.1, and so on) shows the materials we currently have translated.
James' videos have high-quality English captions, thanks to our partner organization dotsub.com, and our volunteers are translating those subtitles into other languages too.
If you would like to help with this translation work, please write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can we post comments, photos, and videos somewhere?
Scolab, the makers of Exploding Dots, is invested in the respects of its users privacy and personnal information. Currently, the only personnal information collected is restricted to teachers. Students are invited to use the application anonymously which makes it's adoption in the classroom very easy.