Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Family Math Night Fun!

I did a family math night at Christel House Academy in Indianapolis this week and we had a blast!!  This math night extends the dance residency's themes so that anyone can participate from 10 months to 100 years old.  The same principles that run through my residency program show up in the family night as well:

Making is fun.
Patterns are fun.
Choice is fun.
Art is fun.
Dance is fun.
Math is fun.
Challenge is fun.
Learning is fun.
Glue, tape and paper are fun.
The more colorful the better.
The more choice the better.

The following pictures don't represent every activity in the night, but you can probably tell by the focused hands that everyone was engaged in what they were doing.  Fun!

The Math in Your Feet Family Math Night is called "Pizza, Patterns & Problem Solving."  The key ingredients to this night are MAKING and CHOICE.  Sure, everyone is designing a paper pizza that illustrates turn symmetry, but every pizza is different.  

I made up this name pattern activity based on the frequency of vowels and consonants in one's name, but I'm sure it's not an original idea.  It's fun to watch kids discover the larger pattern that emerges from repeating their name pattern over and over. 

This family night is an extension of the Math in Your Feet residency topics.  For example, in the dance residency, kids use flips, slides and turns to transform their dance patterns.  Here they do the same thing with tangram puzzle pieces as they work to make the shadow shapes.  
This is a night for the entire family, so there are little babies all the way up to grandparents making and solving next to each other.  It's quite amazing to see the generations working together, all in one room.  I am always heartened to see the adults trying new things.

Mirror symmetry.

Patterns in the feet.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work Malki, You are making solid math connections and bringing in a good variety of materials and activities for the students.

    A suggestion for taping that you asked for from prior post:
    Layout nine points on the floor with square pieces of tape (three row of three points) where each of the four is the size you use for their dancing square. Have the children in a circle around the tape points where the first child will start by putting a line of tape from any point to another. Each child in turn will add another line of tape until all points have been connected in all possible combination of straight lines. There is a lot of math to discover by what they can recognize, shapes, angles, proportions, etc.

    You might want to give them some rules such as; lines can be longer when points are collinear, more than two in a row, or only one segment at a time. They can only place a line that is parallel, or perpendicular, or at right angle to the line previously placed, if they agreed no options left then they can choose any place.

    Have them talk about, demonstrate connections to their dancing or use this as another kind of mapping their movements to new movements. Have them draw the nine points on paper, connect the dots and use the shapes and relationships to color in and design their own dance movements. This is vaguely similar to what Laban was doing in trying to notate dance movement in a visual graphic way. This is simply another way to identify and coordinate movements and the various expressions of universal harmonies that run through all activities.

    You can see a picture of this on the attachment of my 1/15/11 post; [Math 2.0] precision and folding in thirds.


Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!


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