Math Mall

Dear Friends-

We would like to invite you to the Math Mall, which is a fairly exclusive group of shops filled with only the finest artisanal, handcrafted items created by our Upstairs students. Oh… and the shops are only open during school hours, only accept play money, and you have to keep track of your transactions in a log book... and at the end of Math Mall hours, everyone has to give all their play money back to the “bank” so that the Mall can open for business again the next day.

The Math Mall first sprang up in the Forest Room earlier this year, and has since spread like wildfire around the Upstairs. On any given afternoon, you run a strong chance of finding our students cutting, braiding, glueing and taping products together for their stores in preparation for a frenzy of Math Mall activity. There are pet stores in which tiny animals are drawn and cut out of paper and displayed proudly. The Art Store lines the walls of the block room with select masterworks by the store owners themselves (they sometimes commission outside artist friends). So far this year, the Math Mall has seen the coming and going of a candy shop, a pet shop, a toy and book store, a pizza shop, a bakery, a post office, a music store, a yarn shop, a jewelry store and others.

If you do ever come visit the Math Mall, please know that you will be expected to figure out a way to log your transactions. As Claire has noted: “If a fuzzball cost $0.70, you paid $1.00, and you received $0.30 in change, your equation would read: $1.00 - $0.70 = $0.30”. In the Rainbow Room you will also be asked to stack your equations, pay a 10% tax (which goes into a donation bin for people who have no money left), and to figure out how to put things on sale for 50% off (which gets tricky if you have an item on sale for $1.09!)

Visitors to Math Mall might also notice that the Mall lacks several services often offered in “Math Class”. We do not provide xeroxed worksheets with columns of problems for our customers. The Mall does not give out rows of questions with multiple choice bubbles next to them. You will not find much of an opportunity to check out or sleep at a desk at the Math Mall, and the Math Mall does not hand out calculators. You will not be given simple answers at Math Mall, and you will be asked to figure things out either in a group or on your own. You certainly will not be given a grade. The Math Mall only offers a deep and engaging experience interacting with complex numbers that will inform your core understanding of numerology for your lifetime. We hope that will suffice.

If you ever find yourself at Randolph School on a school day during the afternoon, come say hello to the Upstairs. Chances are you will find the Math Mall open and running!

Be well,

Ben


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