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    Annotated Bibliography

    Furner, Joseph M. “Mayan Mathematics: Connecting History and Culture in the Classroom.” TODOS: Mathematics for ALL, vol. 1, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 28–33., www.todos-math.org/assets/documents/TEEM/teem2009v1n1.pdf.  This is an article in a journal published by TODOS which is an affiliate organization of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  TODOS emphasizes supporting Latino students in mathematics.  This article discusses the base-20 system that Mayan’s used and includes a lesson that can be used in the classroom that connects the Mayan system to the base-10 system used in most of the world today.


    Hirsch-Dubin, Faviana Phoebe. “Mayan elders, Mayan mathematics, and the weaving of resistance in maguey bag production.” The Journal of Mathematics and Culture, vol. 4, no. 1, Oct. 2009, pp. 63–83., nasgem.rpi.edu/files/1721.  This article is printed through the University of California at Santa Barbara school of education.  This article details the weaving in Maguey Bag Production, its connection to the struggles of the people in the region, and its preservation of the base-20 system used by Mayans.


    jbmathfunnew. “The Maya Base-20 Number System.” YouTube, YouTube, 12 Jan. 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybvb7oy_WV0. This video was posted by Jill Britton who primarily posts videos that illustrate interesting connections with mathematics.  This video details the deceptively simple symbols used by Mayans and leads through the complexity of the system. It also compares the base-20 system to the cumbersome Roman Numeral system.  The video ends with a tutorial on converting between Mayan and base-10 representations of numerical values.


    Macri, Martha. “The Numerical Head Variants and the Mayan Numbers.” Anthropological Linguistics, vol. 27, no. 1, 1985, pp. 46–85. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/30027932. This article is from a journal of linguistics and focuses on an alternate method of number recording used by the Mayans. In addition to the process of writing numbers that involves dots, lines, and leaves, Mayans also represented numbers with drawings of heads. This article details the complexities and relationships within these drawings.


    Marilo. “Yucatan Children Learn Math Better Thanks to Ancient Mayan Numeral System.” Ancient Origins, Ancient Origins, www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/yucatan-children-learn-math-better-thanks-ancient-mayan-numeral-system-020638.  This online article reports about the success that Yucatan children are having in mathematics after having studied the Mayan Numeral System.  The children are out-performing students who are taught mathematics without the exposure to the Mayan system.  The article describes the system, includes a video to demonstrate the system, and has links to a game that people can play to learn and practice writing numbers in the Mayan system.


    “Maya Addition and Subtraction.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Nov. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=F53HuD2lcb8 .  This video was posted by Leslie Creath who mostly posts videos relating to education, mathematics, and culture.  This video shows how the Mayan system of numerals has advantages when it comes to addition and subtraction when compared with our base-10 numerals.  The advantage of the Mayan system is that the symbols used to represent numbers are clear representations of the numeric value of the numbers instead of arbitrary abstract representations like 0 – 9 are in the Arabic numeral system.


    “Maya Math Game.” - Sun, Corn and the Calendar, maya.nmai.si.edu/maya-sun/maya-math-game.  This is a website that has a variety of links to information about the Mayan people.  This particular page explains the Mayan number system and invites visitors to the page to play a Mayan numbers game.  There are also practice rounds of the game and a link to a Maya math activity for the classroom.


    Morley, Sylvanus Griswold. An introduction to the study of the Maya hieroglyphs. Bibliolife, 2013.  Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/43491/43491-h/43491-h.htm .  This is a book freely accessible online through The Project Gutenberg.  This book has six sections that provide an overview and describe hieroglyphic writing, reckoning of time, arithmetic process, and recordings of inscriptions and codices.  This resource provides great depth in the explanation of Mayan numbers and their purposes based on writing preserved on artifacts that have survived to the modern day.


    Moskowitz, Clara. “Amazing Aztecs Were Math Whizzes Too.” LiveScience, Purch, 2 Apr. 2008, www.livescience.com/2427-amazing-aztecs-math-whizzes.html.  This online article discusses interesting discoveries about Aztec math and their methods of dealing with fractions.  The Aztec system is also a base-20 system and at the end of the article, the author states that the systems described in the article were also utilized by Mayans.


    Ortiz-Franco, Luis. “Chicanos Have Math in Their Blood: Pre-Columbian Mathematics.” The Radical Teacher, no. 43, 1993, pp. 10–14. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20709756. This article was published in a journal that focuses on teaching.  The author discusses the political and mathematical importance of teaching pre-Columbian number systems to students.  The article ends by making recommendations to teachers for including ethnomathematics in the classroom.


    OVERBAY, SHANNON R., and MARY JEAN BROD. “Magic with Mayan Math.” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, vol. 12, no. 6, 2007, pp. 340–347. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41182420.  This article comes from a journal that focusses on middle school mathematics education.  The article includes an introduction to Mayan numerals, a few classroom activities, and a final discussion of the activities which includes how they can be used and their value in the education of students of all ages.


    Pitts, Mark. “Book 1: Writing in Maya Glyphs: Names, Places, & Simple Sentences Non-Technical Introduction to Maya Glyphs.” FAMSI - Maya Writing - Writing in Maya Glyphs: A Non-Technical Introduction to Maya Glyphs, 2009, http://www.famsi.org/research/pitts/MayaGlyphsBook1.pdf  This is book that begins chapter one with some history, exposure to Mayan glyphs, and references to be used later in the book. In chapter two, readers are guided in writing their own names in Mayan glyphs. The remainder of the book describes how to write titles, professions, family relationships, names of towns, and ends by having readers put all of the information together to write simple sentences. This book is brimming with wonderful illustrations that support the content of the writing.


    Pitts, Mark. “Maya Numbers & the Maya Calendar A Non-Technical Introduction to Maya Glyphs – Book 2.” FAMSI - Maya Writing - Writing in Maya Glyphs: A Non-Technical Introduction to Maya Glyphs, 2009, http://www.famsi.org/research/pitts/MayaGlyphsBook2.pdf  This book begins by leading a reader through writing Mayan numbers with bars, dots, and shells to writing numbers as glyphs.  The remainder of the book discusses the use of numbers for the calendar, recording time, and counting.  This book is brimming with wonderful illustrations that support the content of the writing.


    Walmsley, Angela L. E., and Thomasenia Lott Adams. “MATH ROOTS: Understanding Aztec and Mayan Numeration Systems.” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, vol. 12, no. 1, 2006, pp. 55–62. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41164027.  This article was published in a journal that is primarily geared toward teachers of middle school mathematics.  The article compares the Hindu-Arabic base-10 system with the Aztec and Mayan representations of their base-20 system.  The article provides activities for students and solutions for the activities.



    Bates, Dawn Cary Academy Winter 2000 http://www.radicalmath.org/docs/MayanMath.pdf  This is a 13-page booklet of activities for students to practice using numbers in the Mayan system and writing numbers from one system with representations in the other.  The activities are a nicely paced progression from introductory questions to more challenging questions.

    Bazin, Maurice and Tamez, Modesto. Breaking the Mayan Code: Mayan Math https://www.exploratorium.edu/ancientobs/chichen/docs/Mayan_Math.pdf  This is an activity for students from the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco.  There is a brief introduction and then students are given some guidance as they attempt to decode a portion of a Mayan codex.  The focus of the activity is primarily mathematical.  At the end, the activity has students do some specific calculations and lead them to understand that the numbers they have deciphered in the codes are actually related to the calendar year and the subdivision of the year into months.