Who Says Students Can’t Use Math in Humanities Courses?


New Math provides students with the opportunity to develop their own definitions of words and concepts using only mathematical equations.

New Math was the brainchild of Craig Damrauer, an artist who developed a simple idea:  Capture everyday concepts and ideas solely through the language of mathematical equations.

Damrauer started the New Math project for a solo art show in New York in 2002.  Since that time, these equations have been released as a book and as postcards.

Damrauer’s New Math is a creative approach that educators can utilize to allow students the opportunity to create their own definitions, visuals, and restatements in their own words based on their analysis and synthesis of definitions, connotations, and denotations of the word.  To create an effective equation, students will undoubtedly demonstrate depth of understanding.

New Math aligns with Marzano’s six-step process for teaching vocabulary to support students who lack sufficient background to achieve in school.


These steps include:

1.  The teacher explains a new word — going beyond reciting its definition.

2.  Students restate or explain the new word in their own words.

3.  Students create a nonlinguistic representation of the word.

4.  Students engage in activities to deepen their knowledge of the new word.

5.  Students discuss the new word.

6.  Students play games to review new vocabulary.

How can you use New Math with your students?




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