About MathLabs: Definition and Reason

What is a MathLab?

In this Website, the word MathLab is meant to indicate a learning activity, typically performed by students working in teams, for which the following three aspects occur:

Q (question) — a real world question is posed by the instructor,

R (resolution) — the resolution of the question involves the use of mathematics, and

V (verification) — the result can be verified by empirical means.

That’s it. Just three requirements. But these requirements MUST be present. Anything else —such as an assignment or an assessment—is entirely up to the teacher and/or school.

Why MathLabs?

Because schools (especially K-8, kindergarten through 8th grade) should be doing these kinds of things. Just as time and resources are set aside—outside of the regular classroom lecture/discussion period—in high school biology, chemistry, and physics classes for doing “lab work,” elementary schools should provide the time and resources for mathematics teachers to perform the kinds of collaborative MathLab activities described in this site.

These activities are not meant to be weekly or monthly. The hope is that between about 16 to 32 excellent MathLabs might be performed, as designated by the school, over the course of the students’ K-8 experience.

Collaborative School Activities for the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics