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Compass Mandalas

The word “man­dala” comes from the San­skrit word mean­ing “cir­cle” and has it’s roots in Hindu and Bud­dhist tra­di­tions.  We know man­dalas as cir­cu­lar designs with radial sym­me­try and repeat­ing pat­terns.  Man­dalas can be found today in a vari­ety of cul­tures as well as in nature. (Ask stu­dents where they have seen cir­cles, or patterns […]

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Designs with Number Patterns

This les­son is adapted from a math activ­ity my own kids did in mid­dle school, where they used col­ored string to “stitch” their pat­terns on card stock.  I sim­pli­fied this les­son for my stu­dents (4th grade and up), replac­ing the nee­dle and thread with mark­ers and a ruler.…  Have you ever mar­veled at the fascinating […]

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Tes­sel­la­tions are all around us! A tile floor is a good exam­ple. Encour­age your stu­dents to find other tes­sel­lat­ing pat­terns in the world around them. Then make your own tes­sel­la­tions inspired by artist M.C. Escher. (Don’t be afraid to try these… they are much eas­ier than they look!) First, some help­ful vocab­u­lary:M.C. Escher — a Dutch […]

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Toothpick Sculptures — 3D Pyramid Stars

Kids love any oppor­tu­nity to work in 3D and are sur­prised to dis­cover all they can make using just tooth­picks and some mod­el­ing mate­r­ial. After prac­tic­ing a few basic forms, let their imag­i­na­tions run wild and see all the cre­ative ideas they can come up with! First, let’s begin with some basic vocab­u­lary.…Tetra­he­dron — a pyramid […]

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Paper Magic

It’s amaz­ing how many ways you can turn kids on to MATH using ART!!! In my teacher work­shop, “Teach Kids Math with Art”, we expe­ri­enced lots of ways to do just that! This project makes a great intro­duc­tion to the study of topol­ogy. Topol­ogy is a type of geom­e­try con­cerned with space, dimen­sion and transformation. […]

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