Are you looking for a better way for your child to learn math? Math Circles are intensive, joy-filled math explorations that help your child develop deep concept understanding, math skills mastery, and advanced problem solving strategies in a context of discovery and play.

I am offering a very limited number of after-school Math Circles for kids in grades 1-6 in the Portola Valley area.

Math Circles are customized to meet the needs of each child. Participants in an Artful Math Circle will receive:

  • meaningful math discovery sessions for deep concept learning
  • inquiry-led math investigations
  • laser-focused games for skills mastery
  • mental math strategies
  • low floor, high ceiling challenges (accessible to beginners, but challenging for advanced learners)
  • growth mindset framework to build persistence and put an end to math anxiety
  • problem solving and real-world math contexts
  • a new math focus each month

Math circles are designed to support your child through an entire school year. Each math circle is individualized to meet the needs of your child’s group and support all levels of math development through inquiry-based, meaningful math learning.

Fill out the interest form to get on the waiting list for a math circle, or email Kelli ( for more information.


Artful Math Circle FAQ

What kind of student are math circles designed for? 

Artful Math Circles aren’t just for kids who already love math. Kids of all abilities and interest levels will feel at ease in a math circle, whether they are advanced, struggling, or right at grade level. Groups are differentiated and highly individualized. The hands-on, play-based structure helps kids at any math level feel excited about learning math.

Note that Math Circles are NOT high-speed math competitions. They are a great fit for girls and creative thinkers who don’t usually like math, and any child who wants to experience math through discovery, play, and problem solving.

How is this different from tutoring? 

Traditional tutoring is focused on homework help and teaching kids how to do the math–usually in time for the next test. This patchwork approach to math leaves kids confused and dependent on memorization, and backfires when kids try to solve more complex problems later on.

Artful Math is a comprehensive system for deep math learning. When your child participates in a Math Circle, she will build her own understanding through exploration and inquiry, so learning sticks. She’ll build a strong foundation of math concepts and be able to think through complex problems using math reasoning–not just memorize a rule for a test.

Will this prepare my child for the ISEE? 

Yes and no. What your child learns in Math Circle will almost certainly help your child do better on tests down the road, especially in tricky test questions that involve reasoning and problem solving. However, Math Circle is NOT test prep. I do not teach quick memorization tricks at the expense of understanding, as these methods often backfire later on and interfere with real learning.

How can I help my child get the most out of a Math Circle? 

  1. Plan to sign your child up for Math Circle throughout the entire school year. Each month your child will investigate a different math area, so at the end of the year kids will have a deep understanding of all math topics for that grade level.  
  2. Bring water and a healthy snack to keep your child sharp and energized.
  3. Try out the monthly math tips and play the math games at home to keep skills strong.

What happens in a typical Math Circle? 

Each Math Circle includes a carefully blended mix of hands-on learning, concept exploration, problem solving, high-level challenges, skills practice, and enrichment. Two hours will fly by! Kids experience Math Circle as time of fun puzzles, tricks, and games that help them get better at math.

Who will be leading my child’s Math Circle? 

Kelli Pearson is a creative, dynamic teacher with more than 25 years experience teaching and creating innovative curriculum for kids.

Kelli taught 4th and 5th grade math at Creekside, an independent school in Portola Valley. She has led parent groups and teacher trainings at Ventana school, facilitated bilingual parent/child math nights, and led camps and after school programs for more than 250 kids in grades K-6.

Kelli is the author of Miss Brain’s Cool Math Games and founder of Artful Math, an organization committed to helping girls discover the wonder and joy of math. Artful Math is a visual, meaningful way of experiencing math that engages your child in deep math learning through inquiry, exploration, problem solving, and play.