Making Math Meaningful: A Source Book for Teaching High School Math

Making Math Meaningful: A Source Book for
Teaching High School Math
by Jamie York

This book is essential for teachers to effectively use our Waldorf high
school math workbooks.

Did you ever wish you had a resource book with all
the most awe-inspiring math you could bring into
the classroom… all the stuff that standard high
school math textbooks never have time for?

It took Jamie York thirty years to develop his Waldorf high
school math curriculum. As well as standard math
topics, this book is packed with material to inspire
you and your students beyond the current norm.


8.5ʼ x 11ʼ, 235 pages, illustrated, soft cover.
ISBN 978-1-938210-19-8

$38 per copy
3+ copies are $34
per copy
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The Source Book for Teaching High School Math is Jamieʼs best work yet! It is an essential
teacherʼs companion for our Waldorf high school math workbooks, which are designed to develop the student’s math skills, preparing them for anything they might encounter in college or life.

We emphasize a healthy balance between developing skills and having mathematical
experiences. We cover the standards (trigonometry, Cartesian geometry, logarithms, etc.,)
as well as main lesson material and less well-known topics.

The Source Book for Teaching High School Math includes:

•Practical advice for teachers                                                     •Math curriculum overview

•Al-Khwarizmiʼs algebra                                                              •Possibility and probability

•Greek geometry main lesson                                                     •Amazing proofs (more than 50)

•Handouts for students                                                               •Descriptive geometry

•Euclidʼs Elements                                                                       •Surveying

•Sequences and series                                                                •Math and music

•Descartes main lesson                                                                •i as an exponent

•Projective geometry                                                                    •Calculus main lesson

•Philosophy of math

… and much more!

Our tried and tested Waldorf high school math curriculum prepares students not just for college, but also for life.

DOWNLOAD a PDF of HS Source Book Sample Pages.

DOWNLOAD a PDF of HS Source Book Table of Contents

WHAT A SEASONED WALDORF SCHOOL TEACHER SAYS about Jamie York’s Source Book for Teaching High School Math:

I have been teaching math in Waldorf schools for 12 years, and in public schools for 3 years prior to that.   When I began my Waldorf training in 2005, I encountered Jamie York as a teacher and mentor.  Since that time, I feel I have been consistently enriched, challenged, and enticed as a math teacher through Jamie’s Source Book material.

This book is chock-full of amazing, invigorating mathematics.  Unlike modern math textbooks, Jamie writes and explains mathematical puzzles and problems just up to a certain “jumping off point”. Then he expects the teacher to actively engage with the material.  Time and time again, I have read a rich nugget in Jamie’s Source Book, which has led me to do further investigation on my own.  The joy of math is in discovery. Jamie’s work has allowed me, as a math teacher, to do just that.  In turn, I can create situations where my students also have the opportunity to create and discover mathematical wonder.

The High School Source Book contains an amazing array of material, and types of mathematics.  It begins  with some brief introductory commentary that is well worth reading (“Today’s Challenge”, “Thoughts on Teaching Math”, “Will our Students Be Prepared?” are a few subtitles). Then it is organized by grade level (9th-12th) based on Jamie’s experience and research of teaching these subjects.

In Waldorf schools, every attempt is made to teach subjects developmentally, i.e., the right topic at the right age. Math education has often been an exception to this approach. Even in Waldorf schools, it’s often thought to be OK to allow students to learn math at their “natural pace.”  This leads, for example, to teaching algebra to 6th graders in an intensive way. Yet, reading Jamie’s thoughts and working with his material has made me a believer that, for example, there is absolutely no rush to teach Cartesian coordinate graphing before late 10th grade (buy the book to read more, page 9).  Rather, Jamie advocates for introducing and working with a much wider range of mathematics than is normally attempted.  Examples include: Possibility and Probability, and Descriptive Geometry in 9th grade; Circle and Triangle Geometry, Mensuration, and Sequences and Series in 10th Grade; and Projective Geometry, Complex Numbers and Polarity in 11th and 12th grade.  Jamie has included sufficient challenge within each math area of study to keep the most advanced students joyfully engaged. At the same time, he allows the “regular” student to also experience the joy of mathematics without shutting down.

Jamie’s book includes an entire unit on Descartes and his geometry; another on Cantor, Hilbert, Russel, Gödel and modern mathematical philosophy; another on the development of Calculus.  It includes mathematics from Plato to Euclid to Archimedes, Al-Khwarizmi to Galileo to Newton and Liebniz. The whole gamut of human endeavor in mathematics is represented here.  In each new study, the goal is to engage one’s mind in the same mathematics that occupied the minds of the greatest mathematicians,  experiencing their same awe and wonder that they experienced!

Mathematics as an educational subject has been severely crippled by several onuses inappropriately placed upon it. It has been a litmus test for the “truly gifted” student. It has been an excuse to label and stratify students according to perceived natural ability.  It has been a discipline whose only justification is in service of engineering and technological achievements.  But, working with Jamie’s book reveals the truth. Math is an art form (possibly the most sublime art form ever invented), and it is to be practiced and enjoyed.

This High School Math Source Book is for the teacher of mathematics who has a true love of her/his subject matter. It is for the teacher who wants to continuously enhance his/her ability to transfer that love to her/his students. This Source Book will deliver for years and years to come, with new mathematical challenges to explore and enjoy!  I strongly recommend Jamie’s high school  math source book as an indispensible resource for all teachers of mathematics!

Brian Gleichauf, Math Teacher
Tamarack Waldorf School, Milwaukee, WI