# Math Circles

##### What is a Math Circle?

In a Math Circle, a leader presents a vague but interesting math problem. The participants ask clarifying questions, pose conjectures, invent methods to test conjectures, justify or reject conjectures, again and again, to the eventual ends of generalizing, abstraction,understanding truth, solving problems, and proof. The problems are low-floor, high-ceiling so that students can enter at and progress to varying levels of concepts rooted in advanced mathematics. The leader acts more like a secretary, in a supporting role, as the participants work collaboratively to solve the problem.

##### The Math Renaissance Math Circle

^{(formerly Talking Stick Learning Center Math Circle)}

Course schedules for fall and winter are posted. The 2 fall classes (approximate ages 7-10 and 5-7) will be held outdoors at Lovett Park in Mt. Airy. Students will be required to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart and not touch any shared objects. Parents are required to be on the grounds, following Philadelphia County COVID requirements. If COVID safety guidelines change at any point, we will need to adjust. (Ages 7-10 could probably shift to virtual but ages 5-7 would be cancelled with a prorated refund.) The winter class (ages 11-14) will be virtual

Families who filled out the interest form are in the “priority enrollment” group and will be given 7 days to register before registration opens to everyone, since class size is limited.

We plan to offer some spring courses, schedules TBA by the end of November.

Feel free to
**reach out** at any time with questions and suggestions.

OUTDOOR LOCATION

The in-person courses will be outdoors, following all CDC-recommended precautions. The outdoor location will be Lovett Park in Mt. Airy in Northwest Philadelphia. We hope to schedule when Lovett Library is open, but the librarians (Miss Marsha and Miss Dana) report that they don’t yet know what their hours will be in the fall. Right now the library is open on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, but will hopefully open more frequently when the academic year begins. Lovett Park is a city park open all day regardless of library hours. We will meet on the library’s covered, open porch during the rain. There is an Acme supermarket across the street with a public restroom if the library is closed during Math Circle.

INDOOR LOCATION

We are not scheduling any indoor courses unless a participating family requests it, organizes it, follows age-appropriate CDC recommendations, and hosts it in their home. Please contact us if you are interested in doing this.

If you have specific preferences or needs related to locations or scheduling, please fill out our Math Circle Interest Form.

*NOTE: While the MRMC is not a way for students to “get ahead,” all of our activities can be connected to at least one (and usually multiple) math practice Common Core State Standard.*

Land acknowledgement: We acknowledge that Math Renaissance works on the unceded Indigenous territory of the Lenni Lenape people, who were and continue to be active stewards of this land. We affirm Indigenous sovereignty and with this Land Acknowledgement pledge our intention to do work that not only does no further harm to Indigenous communities but also benefits Indigenous students.

The Math Renaissance Math Circle has been serving students since 2011. Until then, Philadelphia was the only major US city without a student Math Circle. Our program was founded as an in-person program hosted by Talking Stick Learning Center (TSLC) to provide programming to both homeschoolers and school students. We switched to a virtual program in the spring of 2020. The Math Renaissance Math Circle will resume some in-person courses for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Over the years, we have offered 46 courses: each with 6-13 students enrolled; each course meeting weekly for 6-8 weeks; each session lasting 60-90 minutes. These 46 courses have covered 45 topics – our goal is to never repeat a topic in order to keep the material fresh and exciting for facilitators. We did repeat our Compass Art course at the request of parents; we discovered that it was still a different course because the group dynamic and student math backgrounds were different the second time around. This was no surprise, since the program is student-driven.

In May 2021, TSLC reorganized into a smaller program that currently is not hosting supplemental programs. TSLC has become Harmony Learning Community. The name change reflects not only the reorganization, but also an awakening to the disservice/perniciousness of cultural appropriation. The Talking Stick Math Circle followed Harmony’s lead in renaming our program. Read here for Harmony’s Founding Director Katie O’Connor’s illuminating answer to the question “Why did you change your name?”

Math Circle Tuition – Tuition is $25 for a 60-minute session, prorated accordingly.

Financial Aid Available – Contact Us for More Info