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Mathematician Greg Tang visits Woodside

Making mathematics engaging and enlightening for children is the goal of mathematician, educator, children’s author and businessman Greg Tang. He will meet with Woodside Elementary School students, staff members and parents in September and October to introduce and reinforce methods of teaching math that focus on intuition and understanding.

The visits are possible because of grants from the Hamilton Education Foundation and the Woodside Home and School.

Teachers will have a bright-and-early session with Tang before school begins on Sept. 20. Tang will then work with groups of students from 9 a.m. until 3:10 p.m. as they investigate ways of looking at mathematical processes that combine problem-solving and arithmetic. During the lunch hour, he will be available to consult with teachers.

An evening session will be held from 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. for parents to help them understand ways they can support math skills development at home with their children. While their parents are listening to the presentation, approximately 250 Woodside students will participate in a Math Fair Sept. 20 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and engage in hands-on math activities designed for primary and intermediate elementary students. The games and activities include Number BINGO, Kitty NIM, Lots of Dots, Pattern, Graphtastic Snacks, Bunch and Munch, Skeetball, Sort and Count, Mystery Puzzles, Terrific Tessellations, Monster Math, Tantalizing Tangrams, SNAP!, Snails Pace, Marshmallows from Head to Toe, Shooting Stars, Ultra Skeetball, Spinners, Time-O, 2-D or Not 2-D, Cross the River, Attribute Difference, PIG, Hide & Seek, Leap Frog, Pentominoes, Donut Dilemma, Paper Ornaments, Geometry Sculptures and Cool Calculators.

Tang will work with students and teachers Sept. 21 in the morning and early afternoon. He is planning a follow-up visit to the school on Oct. 20 and 21, and again in the spring. At the district’s Nov. 29 staff in-service, Tang will present a session on “Engaging Students Mathematically” to district elementary teachers.

The son of parents who teach electrical engineering at Cornell University and mathematics at Ithaca College, Tang earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics form Harvard. He later earned a master’s degree in math education from New York University and is certified as a middle school and high school math teacher.

Tang has written numerous books that give students a better understanding of math — from counting all the way through calculus. The books combine Tang’s love of math, words, games, graphic design and teaching. His books have been distinguished as a New York Times bestseller and winners of the IRA Teachers Choice Award, Oppenheim Gold Award, Parent’s Guide Award and Best Math Book.

Woodside is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Rd., Sussex.