Sunday, January 20, 2008

Math Magics

After successfully revisiting the gnomes, working scads of number problems and worksheets and number facts (whew) I opted to take Nightowl in a different direction. For this I primarily used Path of Discovery, Grade 2 by Eric Fairman.

In the section on math Fairman gives a number of very detailed introductory lessons which he has dubbed Math Magics. The basics behind these lessons - equal division of shapes and symmetry. These lessons are part geometry, part times tables, part basic math concepts, part division facts and completely artistic.

We began by discussing circle. Then we worked to subdivide it into equal parts. I demonstrated this by drawing a huge chalk circle on the floor and then asking Nightowl to place markers on the edge. The markers needed to be equal distance apart. In the end we had 12 markers. Then we used yarn to connect the markers to create triangles within the circle. Every day we created a different number of triangles working to make the triangles the same. Each day we drew the large circle, did the division and then copied the image into her math book. Each day we ha a different star design made of triangles. This was very challenging for Nightowl. She was often frustrated trying again and again to create the star pattern within the circle.

Then we moved to squares within squares with the resulting subdivision of triangles. Again we started with a large shape on the floor, subdivided by yarn. I told a short story from Fairman's work to describe the subdivisions. Then we moved to the slate and then the main lesson book. This optical illusion was very intriguing. Nightowl spent an entire lesson putting together the very detailed picture on the left.

Finally, to better grasp how many squares and triangles were actually in the picture we recreated the squares within squares exercise in felt.

How many triangles to you see? How many squares?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Thanks for the tip about Dorothy Harrer's book, mine arrived today. Good to see all the maths in action.
Lisa (UK)