Growing up, I hated math. Today, I love it. I attribute my struggles to a lack of understanding and the disconnect I felt between math and the real world. I attribute my current love of math to the understanding I have gained as I help my kids learn. More importantly, I attribute my love of math to my attempts at helping them make the connections with life that I never did as a child. I approach the subject as a foreign language where we have to learn the vocabulary and memorize the parts of speech and make the real life connections between familiar and unfamiliar in order to remember.
One of the most beautiful connections, and one of the best shared experiences we have had lately was a study of Fibonacci and the number sequence he discovered and explored. Memorizing a number sequence, a formula for the golden ratio, etc. is brought to light in relation to the bones in our hands, the nautilus shell, the seed head of a sunflower, the mating habits of rabbits. In our dining room, suddenly there appeared spirals and ratios and Fibonacci numbers EVERYWHERE! It was amazing and beautiful.
For those of you who live in Georgetown, the public library offers a Star Kit with books for younger kids.
Books we enjoyed:
Blockhead: the life of Fibonacci
Swirl by Swirl: spirals in nature
Growing Patterns: Fibonacci numbers in nature
The Rabbit Problem
Here are some other resources we found especially helpful.
Numbers of Nature video
Mensa for Kids lesson: Fabulous Fibonacci and His Nifty Numbers
If you subscribe to BrainPop Movies, there is an introductory movie there too.
Wherever you find your resources, I encourage you to take a look at the beauty of math through Fibonacci.