Week 20: Angles within a circle

This week learners can play with angles with both grand projects and smaller art projects. There are 360 degrees in a circle or 2pi radians. Learners can draw a circle and then mark every 20 degrees (or every 30 or any factor of 360).

tick marks every 20 degrees

Factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 60, 72, 90, 120, 180, 360

Once the circle and tick marks are made, learners can start connecting points by skipping a set amount (skip every 5 marks). The key here is to be consistent – make sure they skip the same number of marks with each line. The lengths of the lines should be the same, so they can use that to check each line. I like to use circular protractors, but it’s not necessary.

After creating a star, or mix of polygons, learners can color them in, create a template for sewing applique, laser cut, combine them into a mobile, and more.

Week 19: Math Haiku

Poetry forms are like a puzzles. You have to take the words you want to say and rearrange them, find synonyms, and reformulate them until they can fit in a form. This problem solving is so similar in math.

One of the first forms to play with is the Haiku. It is a three line poem with no rhyming scheme that fits a syllable pattern of 5/7/5. Traditionally there is a season mentioned (Kigo) and a cutting word to compare two ideas (Kiru). Learners can try to do a traditional Haiku, or they can just work with the syllable pattern to start. This can be done in any classroom to contemplate the concepts that are being learned in a different way. When we relate these abstract ideas to our inner beings, we remember.

Once poems are complete, maybe a work of art can complement it.

Here are some that I wrote. Please share yours!

Week 18: Castles, Maps and Spaceships – Let’s Draft

This week learners can dive deep into their imaginary worlds (or real world inventions). The project this week is to create a map, castle, spacecraft or invention. The math focus will be on developing a sense of scale. Younger learners may practice scale with proportions in their drawings. Older learners may add units and measurements to their designs.

Offer various materials for their designs: graph paper, extra large sheets, engineering papers, isometric, or hex. Facilitators can supplement learning by looking at maps, blueprints, and patent designs that learners are interested in.

Example spaceship design by Opal(13)
World created by Roger(8)

Week 17: Sierpinski in 3D Building Toys

My Building partner and our Menger Sponge

This week break out your blocks (or whatever building toy you enjoy). We are building a Sierpinski cube (Menger Sponge) or Sierpinski tetrahedron. I would also encourage learners to create their own shape and expand on it to create a self-similar sculpture or fractal (think what each iteration would look like).

Here are a few options for building:

1.) Use this link for a paper model (good for a short class or quick project).

2.) Use toothpicks and gumdrops, cardboard, paper, aluminum foil or other handy building tools in the house.

3.) Use lego (I try not to show learners pictures of the tool they are going to use. I think it’s important to figure it out and discover.)

4.) Try Lux blox – this took us quite a while for the third iteration, but it was fun. We found that for the first three sides we needed to build inward to “figure it out.” My daughter built the last two sides while I build inward. It was a lot of fun.

3 iterations

5. Goobi toys are great and my kids and I have built many fractals with them as well. Below is the Sierpinski tetrahedron.