An Open Invitation to Teachers

As I work on these materials, I face one main impediment … I am not a K-12 teacher, I’m a professor at Dickinson College. I can see how material from PwP can be harnessed to help teach a number of concepts up and down the K-12 curriculum, but I do not have the ability to test drive those ideas myself.

If you have an idea for an exercise using any of this material in your classroom and want to road-test it, I encourage you to do so. This blog contains a number of documents that you can use but you will undoubtedly want to create your own take on how to present a given topic. If you have questions about how you might accomplish that, please feel free to drop me an email at I do have my own teaching responsibilities, but for the foreseeable future this is what I plan to be working on and I would be happy to talk to you about that, via email or by Zoom.

More than that, should you wish to turn your exercise into an academic publication, I would be happy to partner with you on that project. I can readily envision co-authoring peer-reviewed articles targeted to journals such as Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PreK-12 or Journal of Math Circles. I have been in contact with the editors of both of these journals and they are interested in submissions using these materials in a classroom or after-school setting.

Where to find teaching materials in each chapter? There are a number of chapters of PwP that have academic style papers (from unpublished drafts to published papers) written for the chapter. Such papers are useful for academics but less useful for a wider audience. I have moved away from writing such papers and am now working to create very short documents targeted at specific issues. These Explainers can be used by teachers in various ways (as handouts, or for overhead projection for example). The most well-developed material introduces string art (indeed, now it is its own book, Electronic String Art, ESA). There are supplementary materials on the right hand side of file pages. These include a glossary of terms, short videos as well as challenge questions and special versions of the files that have added features which teachers will find useful in the classroom. File 1 and File 2 both have Teacher versions of the Excel file as well as a Quick-Start Guide to using the teacher version of the file. These are discussed and extended in ESA Chapter 26, Suggestions for Mathematics Teachers.

My hope is to continue adding materials to this part of the page and if you have created a lesson plan using PwP that worked for you and would like to share it with others, I would be happy to post your lesson plan with appropriate attribution, together with the materials I am putting together myself.

About Challenge Questions Answer Keys: I do not have answer keys posted in PwP. Those using ESA will find more Challenge Questions sprinkled throughout the book but mainly in Section 2.7 for Part I, Chapter 14 for Part II and Chapter 20 for Part III. All of of these Challenge Questions are answered in ESA Chapter 27.