Teaching super teachers at MfA (Math for America)

March & May 2017

With the help of my good friend, Mr. Aaron Kaswell (Master Teacher at MfA) I had the honor and privilege of teaching super teachers at Math for America, a NPO which stipends top mathematics and science teachers in NYC. After a hard day’s work in their classrooms the teachers were still enthusiastic to use their brain to the full and to learn from my 30 years of experience in teaching and how I came to discovering my teaching method, The Art of Teaching Without Teaching. The problems shared with the teachers were what I give my third grade students in Tokyo, but even super teachers struggled to solve them! I wish to keep working with them to sharing my interesting and indulging mathematics problems so that there will be a revolution in mathematics education in the USA. Keep thinking with your own brain is the key but the REAL key is that teachers need to create super interesting problems for their students, and I am more than happy to share with them the thousands of problems I’ve created over the course of my 30 years of teaching.

Sharing some of the great feedback (below) received from participants! Thanks!

“Miyamoto sensei did a great job of explaining and then being hands off”

“There was time to think, time to try, time to reflect. Instructor didn’t tell you what he wanted you to learn, but the takeaways I had were valuable.”

“The facilitator did a great job at having the participant be active and thinking through most of the workshop. “

“Posing a problem to students and making sure that it is a fun and an appropriate challenge is a good instructional strategy that I should remember to consistently include in my classes. Additionally allowing students to struggle and not intervening is one of the keys to the “teaching while not teaching” philosophy.”

KENKEN world championship in midtown Manhattan.

December 19th,  2016

KENKEN contestants visiting my class from India and the UAE.

December 18th, 2016

Kids from the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and India visited my Manhattan class prior to the KENKEN world championship held the next day. They won over thousands of contestants in their country, but still struggled on solving problems I give regularly to third graders in elementary school in Tokyo. I hope they keep on challenging the Miyamoto Method and never giving up stepping up in their mathematics, so that it will be a practice to encounter any difficulties life may bring.

MOMATH (National Museum of Mathematics)

November, 2016

At the National Museum of Mathematics in midtown Manhattan, right by Madison Square Park, I did a how to make KENKEN lecture and a championship tournament for three weekends. Participants not only solved 9X9 KENKEN made by me, but also challenged on making their own KENKEN and exchange to solve each other’s problems made on the spot. We had an elementary school boy and a senior gentleman compete against each other, their age difference was probably over 5 decades and the senior won! There is no limitations to when you can start to train your brain to keep on thinking, obtaining perseverance, enjoying the process of difficult problem solving, and this will eventually lead you to self confidence and joy! 

Visiting a school in Queens and hosting a puzzle event

June 15, 2015

I did a KENKEN puzzle lecture to kids at P.S.76.  At first, they had some trouble solving but they tried hard.  Eventually, every time they solved a quiz, I saw a glow in their eyes and a grin expressing satisfaction.  There were many kids who realized how interesting and exciting it was to think about and continue to fumble with solving math quizzes.  I think the class made them learn that it is important for them to think by themselves, with their own brain.  My goal is to publish a new book that includes the quizzes prepared by those who learned through my class and to donate the revenue.  So it was a huge step for me to achieve that goal.

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KENKEN tournament for teens in Princeton

March 15th, 2014

The agenda of the lecture was “the importance of  children’s attitude towards thinking” and mathematic quizzes.  I think creating the environment for your children to think and letting them reach their own conclusion by their own effort without any help makes them become smarter.  The audience agreed.  After the lecture, I did a KENKEN puzzle contest and surprisingly, lots of people of various ages joined.  The contest was composed of “solving contest” and “quiz-making contest”.

Princeton Article

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Hosting a puzzle event on the Pi-day (14th March) at the Math Museum

March 14th, 2014

I held a puzzle contest for math teachers and 30 students.  I gave a medal to the person who could solved the quiz first. At 6PM, I started an event for both parents and children.  200 people joined.  I showed them examples and explained how to solve them. They started solving the quiz at the same time and competed.  As volunteer members, KENKEN fans joined the event too.  After the event, many people came up to me and asked for my autograph and handshakes.  All of us had a great time.

MoMath HP: Pi Day Celebration on Mar 14th, 2014

Visiting Japanese School of New York and talks on “what makes a smart child”

March 11th, 2014

In the morning after I taught the children how to solve the KENKEN puzzle, they tried the puzzle that I used at my cram school for one hour.  In the afternoon, I had a meeting with their parents.  The agenda was “How to become smarter”.  I define a smart child as not the one who is able to solve all quizzes, but the one who never gives up.  I think you have to make great effort to make something important come true.

Visiting a school in Chiang Rai (in Northern Thailand) and giving lessons on the puzzle

Jun 13th, 2013

There are many regions where there are schools yet people have little opportunity get an education.  I visited a mountainous area in Thailand to teach the local children.  In my class, I introduced them the KENKEN puzzle and gave them the opportunity not only to solve quizzes but prepare their own quizzes.  I proposed a plan to publish a book that includes the quizzes the children created.

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Kids of the American School of Paris experienced my lesson as a part of the school trip

May 7th, 2013

On January 2013, I received the following e-mail from Melissa, a mathematics teacher at the Paris American School;

“We are bringing a group of 20 students to Japan. Having read a lot about Miyamoto-Sensei’s approach to mathematics, we thought it would be a great experience for the students to sit in on one of the classes. Personally, for me, as a math teacher, I feel that I could also learn a great deal from Miyamoto-Sensei’s approach to teaching.  If it would be at all possible to organize such a meeting with the students of the Miyamoto Kyoushitsu (classroom), we would very much appreciate it.’’

I continued thinking for a week whether I should accept her request or not because I could not speak English very well. Finally, after deep insight, I decided to accept them.  I thought to myself, it must be fun and make me improve, and it should be a chance for me to grow!

But I knew I couldn’t handle everything by myself, so I sent an e-mail to Mr.Chiyonobu in Gakken.  “I’m going to have an event May 7th. Would you please rent me a hall and provide some support staff?”  The answer was “Of course yes! That’s fantasitic!”

Mellisa and I e-mailed each other very often and I wrote out the schedule of the day.  Some students in Paris were hoping to meet Japanese students.  So I sent an e-mail to my former students and said “Students at the Paris American school will come to Gakken. Why don’t you join us?”  17 former students wanted to participate.

On May 7, 3pm, 3 teachers and 18 students (14 to 16 years old) came to Gakken.  I asked Gakken to put all of my books out on the table.  And I told them “I will give you one of my books.  Choose very carefully because you will solve it later.” Everybody looked through the books carefully and chose one and went back to their seats.  I said to them “I will give you 50 minutes.  Please solve them as you like.”  All of them including 3 teachers tried to the solve problems.  Nobody gave up.  Mellisa told me “I’ve never seen that they continue to think so long and deep!” I replied;  “It’s the power of my problems.  Interesting problems can grasp students’ hearts very easily.” While they were enthused with the problems, my former students came in.
Then was the puzzle contest.  I gave them some new puzzles that no one had ever seen before.  Three former students competed in a dead heat until there was a winner. The Paris students also worked hard until the end.

The next was a one-to-one meeting of former students and Paris students.  At first, former students were a little nervous but in about 5 minutes they all got along very well.

The final event of the day was karaoke. We moved to the karaoke box and sang ‘You’ve gotta friend’ by Carol King. Nobody knew this song, so I sent a URL of this song by e-mail with a note saying “We will sing it at the end of the party so practice it more than 100 times!”

They sang aloud very well! The party was over at 8:30 pm and everyone had a wonderful time.