Calling all children curious about mathematics! A monthly elementary mathematics circle pilot program is running in Chicago. Please see the details below.

Our Math Circle is for students 1-4. We are working on offering a weekday evening and weekend afternoon program for all, and a weekday day time slot (for homeschoolers). Our goal is to allow young students of mathematics to have a chance to interact with advanced mathematicians in an informal setting. Our Math Circle is not competitive and is not focused on competition math, nor is this a program that will prepare you to take any sort of an examination for a selective enrollment program, or any test like the SAT or the NWEA. This is really JUST FOR FUN. We are sponsored by MAGE ( and they make it possible for us to be free and open. This math circle is not a selective enrollment program, it doesn’t require advanced knowledge of mathematical concepts. Our problems have a low barrier to entry so that even the least knowledgeable students could enjoy and participate in the activity, but we try to select problems that can be significantly expanded for the more sophisticated mathematician. We engage in hands-on exploration of mathematics, frequently through games and activities. Sometimes, we bring a piece of literature into the programming. Math Circles combine significant content with settings that encourage a sense of discovery and excitement about mathematics through problem-solving and interactive exploration. Ideal problems are low-threshold, high-ceiling; they offer a variety of entry points and can be approached with a minimal mathematical background, but lead to deep mathematical concepts and can be connected to advanced mathematics.

Cost: Free

Location: West Loop Library, <specific location within the space?>

Age: Grades 1-4

Parents: This is not a drop off class, you have to stay on-site.

Student teacher ratio: 10:1

Class Time: Will begin promptly at 6:30 PM (or another time as we can discuss)

Class Duration: 45 minutes.

Sign up details:??


Can my kindegarten student with advanced mathematical knowledge attend? Not at this time. We will look into developing this program for younger students after our initial pilot. If the child has had formal gifted identification in the area of mathematics, we may make exception for the weekday day-time homeschooler circle.

Can my 5th grader attend? Not at this time, but is enrolling students for grades 5+ for free.

Are students of all abilities welcome? Absolutely.

Is there preparation/homework/assessment in/for this class: no

Is there prerequisite knowledge: No. The program is designed for children interested in mathematics. Just as you wouldn't want to bring a child to hockey that wouldn't be interested in it and wouldn't participate, or to art, if they don't like art, please consider your child's interests before signing up. 

Will this program prepare my child to take the CPS selective enrollment placement test? No. This is not one of the formal goals and outcomes of the program. The program will strengthen the child’s math fluency, literacy, self confidence, and perseverance, which may translate to academic benefits.

What is the goal of the program? The goal of the problem is to provide a child with a chance to work with a sophisticated, advanced mathematician in a way that will encourage a sense of discovery and excitement about mathematics through problem-solving and interactive exploration. As a result, math fluency, literacy, self confidence, and perseverance should increase.

Who is paying for this program: We are working with the Chicago Public Library to provide the space for the evening program free of charge. The Midwest Academy for Gifted Education is sponsoring the coordination, instructor and curriculum design for the circle.

Will there be a chance to provide feedback about the program? Yes, we would love all feedback. Please be patient with us as we run our pilot and iron out the kinks. 

Will you plan for any measurable outcomes for the program? We will solicit parental feedback but at this time we do not have such a goal at this time. 

Where can I learn more about math circles?

When will you expand this program to multiple locations? Anyone can start a math circle. We do not have any plans past the initial pilot at this time.