[ This is only marginally related to List-Managers, so please direct
comments and questions to the author, Alan Hodson <alanh @
Greetings from El Paso, TX. - Below please find information about MathMagic,
a problem-solving project directed at K12 students, teachers, administrators
and in general, to net users that may want to enrich others with their
knowledge or learn from the exchanges.
May 1993 be a peaceful year for you all, and may it find you with a renewed
commitment towards touching the future by helping to educate our youth.
Please forward/post to help disseminate the project.
Alan Hodson MathMagic Foundation
edu PO Box 27205
edu El Paso, TX 79926-7205
What is MathMagic?
MathMagic, is a K-12 telecommunications project developed in El
Paso, TX that provides a strong motivator for students to use
computer technology while increasing problem-solving strategies
and communications skills. In a nutshell, MathMagic posts
challenges into each of four categories (k-3, 4-6, 7-9 and
10-12) to trigger each registered team to pair up with another
team and engage in an exchange of problem-solving dialog. When
an agreement is reached, one solution is posted for every pair.
Has it been done before?
MathMagic has received wide ideological acceptance by hundreds
of present FidoNet users, because it addresses most of the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards. It is now
expanding into the Internet.
Is this a "first call"?
This first call is aimed at providing information and building an
Internet-centered data base with names of K-12 and higher
education teachers, librarians, technology directors and computer
facilitators, and in general, to seek Net users that are in a
position to make the postings available to teams of students.
MathMagic's success on FidoNet makes building this project on
Internet a logical step.
What is needed?
This project is for schools who are presently using or shortly
plan to use computers with modems. Direct Internet access is
desirable (see NET-PROVIDERS file,) but in some areas, a local
Bulletin Board System (BBS) or Net user may have to act as a go-
between. Please ask about special arrangements.
Do participants "meet" each other?
Each registered team is expected to work with a NET TEAM PARTNER
(NTP) who may be local, state, national or international. They
must discuss solution strategies and agree on the solution they
are going to post. A good measure of the success of the project
rests on the "grass-roots" exchanges, when teams meet each other
and exchange personal/school/city information.
How will the Internet be used?
The postings and some team exchanges will be made via a kind of
listserv called a MAILING LIST (different commands, same
principle.) The wonderful folks of the Geometry Forum at
Swarthmore College have made their "majordomo" Mailing List server
available to MathMagic, and as a result, registration will be
fairly easy. However, most team exchanges are via e-mail.
How can someone participate?
There will be two broad categories of participants: REGISTERED and
UNREGISTERED. All registered teams will be entitled to full access
to all the list's mailings, and will have the ability to "post"
any question, comment or reply at any time. UNREGISTERED teams, on
the other hand, can receive all mailings and read the exchanges,
but will not be able to post directly to the lists.
Which are the lists?
Roughly corresponding to U.S. grade equivalency, the list are:
Can someone subscribe to all lists?
Again, anyone can subscribe to any/all of the "...-open" lists,
but can NOT post messages until fully registered.
Is gopher or ftp available?
Anyone can gopher or ftp files from forum.swarthmore.edu. Look for
specific instructions below. In addition, educationally-focused
groups or sites make want to take advantage of Mathmagic as a
Is there a discussion group of benefit to teachers re/ MathMagic?
One of the most valuable lessons a teacher learns is when s/he can
observe and discuss the student's metacognition. For this purpose,
a fifth list,
will also be available to schools of education, assorted profs,
teachers, supervisors and in general to all interested parties
wanting to discuss math learning and the student exchanges
observed in these lists. As MathMagic itself develops, CONSTRUC-
TIVE suggestions, observations and criticisms, along with any/all
pedagogical discussions that may enlighten student/teacher (read
old student) development will be welcomed. K-12 direct student
input is not solicited in this fifth list.
Must registered users participate in all the challenges?
Since school calendars and holidays differ the world over,
registered participants are not expected to address all
challenges. Also, and as strange as it may sound, the "official"
language of the postings is standard American English. Overseas
participants are encouraged to adapt their colloquialisms (boot,
lift, etc.) to ours (trunk, elevator, etc.)
What donation is expected for full registration?
Information about the nominal registration fee is forwarded to
each person registering for one of the lists. It is also available
under the COSTS-GRANTS file as indicated below. Please note that
the registration form calls for the name of a faculty sponsor, and
a team name. Each team's name will consist of the sponsor's last
name (surname), a color, the school mascot, and city/state/country
information: Hodson's Gold Gators/El Paso, TX can end up working
with Nahim's Blue Tigers/Tel Aviv, IL.
What other "perks" are there for registering?
All registered users will receive a certificate of participation,
incentives and have more privileges than nonregistered users. The
world-wide postings of the student's responses also act as power-
How does a person subscribe/unsubscribe to MathMagic?
All subscriptions (registered and non) begin with a free
subscription to one of the "...-open" lists. Send the following
TO: majordomo @
(note majordomo's spelling)
where X-Y is either K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 or general. To
UNSUBSCRIBE (when a user no longer wants to be part of the Mailing
List) send the same message as above, but replace "subscribe" with
When does an "open" subscription become full registration?
After subscribing to any "-open" list a user will receive an
acknowledgement and a REGISTRATION FORM that should be completed
and returned to the address below. The account will remain
UNREGISTERED until all aspects of the form have been received.
Who can answer more questions?
Alan Hodson, middle school math teacher with the El Paso ISD is in
charge of the Internet component of the project. Write to him at:
Carol Hooper, middle school math teacher with Ysleta ISD is in
charge of the FidoNet component. Contact her at:
What other informational files are available?
To receive more information on MathMagic and the files available,
send e-mail (no "Subject:" needed) to:
Users can also ftp the MathMagic information files thus:
'Password:' (your e-mail 'name'@) example: alanh@
'Welcome to the Geometry Forum...' (whole page deleted)
'FORUM.SWARTHMORE.EDU>' cd mathmagic
'FORUM.SWARTHMORE.EDU>' dir (lists all directories)
(or ls (for UNIX systems))
"FORUM.SWARTHMORE.EDU>' cd general (or any other direc-
Remember, to retrieve or "download" information to your system you
must type the 'get filename' (exact spelling). To move up one
directory type (at the > prompt) 'cdup'; to log off type 'exit'.
(Don't type the ' ' marks)
GOPHER access is also available:
(choose) 1. Forum's Archive/
(choose) 6. MathMagic/
(choose) 5. general.information (or any directory in
At the end of each read text (or when you press spacebar <return>)
the footer will prompt to mail it. The user must enter his/her
name as given by the system (example: alanh) - the mailer "knows"
the "@..." part.) To move up a directory type 'u' and to end the
gopher exchange type 'q' and confirm quit.
Some of the files that can be requested are:
mathmagic-faq (this list)
Are user-made "challenge" submissions accepted?
"Adult" involvement is an integral component of this project.
Users with thought-provoking (ideally open-ended) word problems
are encouraged to make their contributions available to MathMagic.
guide can be obtained as outlined above.
Can MathMagic "make a difference"?
MathMagic Foundation is a non-profit organization for the
development and implementation of innovative methods and
technology to encourage youngsters to get involved in articulating
math problems. To the extent that teacher-training programs and
teachers in the field get involved, master and incorporate
telecommunication opportunities like this project, programs like
MathMagic can contribute significantly towards achieving NCTM
standards and truly "literate" students. MathMagic also attempts
to involve concerned professionals in solving some of our students
weaknesses by making "challenge" contributions and engaging in
the project's exchanges.
Caveat Emptor (a personal note)
As worthy an endeavor as MathMagic may seem, it is "one more" time
consuming commitment to a full-time job, the local board of a
professional organization (AFT) and the usual daily distractions
such as band boosters student accounts and the like. Presently
MathMagic is NOT receiving any grants or stipends to allow for
"extra" time to be dedicated to the project. Hopefully this will
change in the near future. Please don't expect IMMEDIATE service
- be ready to match your professional commitment to finding viable
alternatives to age old concerns with a good dose of patience! At
least at the beginning...Ironic how we may be able to communicate
across the world instantly, but still be slaves of our time
Happy (thought-provoking) Computing!
Alan A. Hodson
PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!
Do not post your replies to this list - Use the e-mail addresses
provided above. Thanks