Notice and Wonder

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    When students become active doers of mathematics, the greatest gains of their mathematical thinking can be realized. The process of sense making begins when we create classrooms full of curious students' thoughts and ideas.

    By asking "What do you notice? What do you wonder?" we help our students see problems in big-picture ways.

    Self-confidence, reflective skills, and engagement soar, and students discover that the goal is not to be "over and done," but to discover multiple strategies for tackling a problem.

    NW_Notice_stickerNW_Wonder_sticker NCTM is pleased to expand this concept through the introduction of two mathematics-loving characters: Notice, the snail, and Wonder, the owl.

    Explore the world with these two friends discovering that math is all around them. Notice and Wonder provide fun and engaging mathematics prompts to spark the sense of curiosity that leads students to understand that math is everywhere! 

    Notice and Wonder Resources

    Check out these resources to help you incorporate Notice and Wonder instruction in your classroom.

    Notice and Wonder Teaching Aids

    These free Notice and Wonder digital assets are available for use in your online classroom. Use these pieces to enliven your Zoom meetings.

    Don’t forget to visit the NCTM bookstore for more Notice and Wonder products!


    Animated Zoom Background

    Delight your students with an animated background of Notice and Wonder exploring a classroom! Designed to be entertaining but not distracting, let Notice and Wonder help keep your students’ attention on you.


    Pi Day Set 1

    New! Pi Day Multi-platform Backgrounds

    We can think of 3.14 great reasons to download this Pi Day background set: 1.) Who doesn’t love pi(e)?   2.) Celebrate this amazing number in a tasty way, 3.) Hint to your class that you are always receptive to baked goods, 4.) Always…. Ah-ah-ahhh. We said 3.14 reasons. Sorry, not sorry!


    Snowman Static Background

    Notice and Wonder Snowman Zoom Background

    Brrrr-ing winter to your Zoom meetings with this seasonal background. Surround yourself with chilly Notice and Wonder and their cool new friend.


    NCTM Members Click Here for More Free Notice and Wonder Teaching Aids.

    The Notice and Wonder Story

    Notice the snail is a keen observer. Very little gets by the little snail's attention. "I discover math everywhere I go," says Notice. "Even my home is a spiral, and that's a mathematical shape!"

    One warm and breezy day, Notice was slowly gliding along the park, looking at the little things others just walk by, when a colorful tree covered in leaves of red, yellow, and green appeared. Notice couldn't believe how many leaves there were and began to count them. And what did Notice see up in that tree but a sleepy owl sitting on a fat, crooked branch full of bright yellow leaves.

    "What are you doing, little snail?" asked Wonder.

    "I'm counting all the colored leaves in your tree. Did you know that there are twice as many yellow leaves as red?" asked Notice.

    "You know, I never really thought about it before, but now that you say so, I think you are right! You are a good counter, little snail."

    "My name is Notice, and I do like counting. I also like finding patterns, looking at shapes, and drinking root beer."

    Wonder agreed that root beer was yummy but wanted to hear more about the tree. "My name is Wonder, and it's nice to meet you. What else can you tell me about my tree?"

    "Well most of the red leaves are at the edges," replied Notice, "and the green ones are in the middle."

    "Wow! I must say you are very good at this! I have been in this tree all morning and didn't see the things you have. Of course, I was taking a nap because I had a long night."

    Share your own stories with the hashtag #noticeandwonder