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For teachers, parents and school districts: Alice spent the majority of her teaching career developing creative mathematical curriculae. She offers a wide range of creative math activities and resource materials for teachers and parents to use with their children. Districts can best utilize her services at district inservice days and teacher conferences or retreats. She offers workshops to parents, teachers and home schooling families to better ensure that mathematical education is offered to all students, not just those interested in mathematics. How is math relevant? Who is it for? and Why? How should it be taught so all children can benefit? What is dyscalculia and how can I teach a child who has it? These questions are addressed in her workshops along with activities that demonstrate creative mathematics.


Example of a
TEACHER WORKSHOP ART and COMMENTS at Portland State University


Having been a 4th and 5th grade teacher for nine years, a reading/spelling/comprehension/mathematics teacher for six years, and a student in the Middle School Mathematics program at Portland State University, Alice knows how to effectively engage and develop rapport with students. Alice is skilled at working with teachers and students to create projects that embellish current curriculum and student interests. Alice's math/art and architectural activites have proven to be highly engaging and far-reaching for building student skills, comprehension, and concept development in mathematics, architecture and art.

Artist-in-residence: prices vary accordingly - call for estimate
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Since prices can vary greatly depending on the location, the number of classes involved, materials, curriculum requirements,, and so on, please contact her for specific proposal ideas.


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ages 10 and up

Expand your understanding of mathematical concepts
as you enhance your artisitc ability.
We will use our imagination and creativity
in a variety of artistic activities
as we learn and
apply such mathematical concepts as symmetry, fractions,
decimals, number patterns and measurment.
Join us as we apply our math skills to the making
of a class quilt and the creation and deciphering of a secret code.
You will design and paint tiles for your own room and
create a portfolio of “Math Art.”
Alice Cotton is an architectural artist and
educator who helped pilot the
development of a math/art curriculum in the
West Linn School District and
at Portland State University’s Math Learning Center.
She is the author of the book When Buildings Speak.

(The year long Math Artistry course includes this class plus Adventures in Geometry and
the Queen's Garden - see below)

Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog


ages 10 and up

Instructor: Alice Cotton
See Village Home catalog for 2007 - 2008

Open your mind to the newest findings in mathematics.
The Moebius strip, Jordan Curve, Kline Bottle, Knot Theory and geometry on a sphere are all areas of transformational geometry that have endless new possibilities for math artists. We will investigate the use of rotation, translation and reflection with geometric shapes. Then we will learn how to use spherical grids, anamorphic grids, and the impossible grids of M.C. Escher to explore new ways to transform our artistic ideas. Included in the Math Artistry (Winter term)
course at Village Home.
Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog

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ages 10 and up

The Queen has a set of requirments for her garden. Is she the Queen of Whales was taken from her land under the sea and
she wants her garden to transport her back to her home.
Her requirements are specific. She wants certain sculptures and certain flowers, a pathway
a private building like a gazebo. She will tell how many square feet of each item but each student gets to
decide how to design the garden. She may even come
to see what each has made. This class takes place the Spring term of Math Artistry at Village Home.

Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog

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ages 10 and up

In this class we'll go to Egypt to learn ancient Egyptian figure drawing techniques,
we'll create musical rhythms and turn these rhythms into art, learn to make maps
like Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxian world map and follow the course of our human journey through our DNA.
We'll make and paint bird houses,
calculate how much paint we'll need and take a look at how things fly.
Then during the last term of the class we'll design and make a playground for the King of Wands.
All this involves math and science, and lots of drawing, designing and art making.
What better way to experience math than as an artist.

ages 13 and up

The year long version of this course includes the following classes: Escher and Beyond, Ancient Greece, and Architectural Drawing: See below for info)

Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog

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ages 13 and up

M.C. Escher was a master at creating art using tesselations, spherical and twisted grid patterns, complex geometrical translations, strange loops and imaginative perspectives. Join us as we create Escher-like art while expanding our understanding of geometry. This class goes beyond tessellation drawing and takes the student into a realm of new perspectives and mind tingling-vision.
Below: An Escher spherical drawing.

Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog

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ages 13 and up

Students will journey to ancient Greece and create plans for columns using the ancient Greek Orders of architecture.
While there we will use a compass and straight edge approach as we explore some of Euclid's most fascinating
geometrical theorems and proofs. Greek culture will drive us onward to to explore
Greek design patterns that will help us decorate our columns with such things as interlocking circles, waves,
spirals and the ever popular egg and dart patterns that symbolize the beginning and end of life.
Then , for our final project we will turn these columns into painted clay models.
a student's diagram from the activity: Remember Euclid

Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog

ages 13 and up

Using the architectural tools of mathematics and art, you will learn the art of perspective drawing, including drawing in three dimensions. You may draw your own home or other buildings using a photograph or you may choose to create your own building using unique architectural designs. In class you will create both an exterior plan and an interior plan of one room in your building. These architectural plans will then be colored to create a beautiful work of art.

Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog

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ages 13 and up

This class continues the Math Artistry courses with a year long class called the Geometer's Art
where students explore geometric proofs and turn these proofs into art. Basic geometric concepts are solidified as they turn into sculptures, carved wood, mobiles and paintings.


Ages: 5 - 7

Children experience math through play, art and architecture.
We play games, build cities, use our bodies as an abacus and to create counting systems,
learn about ancient mathematical systems, and play/create math games.
In this class math is experienced as an extension of who we are:
intelligent, playful beings.

Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog

Ages: 7 - 9

This is a year long project oriented class for children who love to design and build using their own creative ideas.
This class includes lessons in science, math, technology and art.
For example: One lesson will involve batteries and electrical networks,
lighting up light bulbs, making things run. We'll spend the first week playing with and learning the science
behind how to set up an electrical system to make things work.
The next week we will do network mathematics which is about setting up mathematical systems using "arrow games"
(this comes from CSMP - comprehensive School Mathematics Program,
Then the third week we'll design the project (this is where art and design come in).
The 4th week we'll just work on the projects and figure out how to show them to others and write about what we learned.

Projects may include making a halloween mask that lights up,
making a paddle boat that runs in water, building a suspension, arched, cantilevered or draw bridge,
making tall towers that can withstand earthquakes and high wind, making a toy with moving parts,
and/or making an animal home with mud and water.
Students may bring in their ideas as well.

"When young children lay out a chequerboard garden, or use clay to model a double decker bus complete with driver, passenger, and wheels that move, or make rockets from washing-up liquid bottles, they are learning that they can transform the world in some measure to meet their own requirements." - The Design Council, Design and Primary Education.

Ages: 7 - 9

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Using student interests and lots of play,
math is integrated into everything we do in
fun and playful ways.
We have traveled to other planets,
other countries, made colonies and homes
explored the areas and created stories
and mysteries to solve that involve
various kinds of mathematics.



Contact Village Home School to register and receive a catalog