Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Plant the Star Seeds, Watch them Grow

Oh, what a wonderful day!  The star seeds I've planted have started to sprout.  That is to say that my seven year old is now officially along for the ride!

This morning for our 'show and tell' time she shared her 125 year old spelling book and her newest doll.  I decided I should share something too, so I pulled out my sketchbook from the past week.  I showed her my process of discovering different kinds of stars (the whole story here) including the all-in-one composite stars I made with 8, 10 and 12 points. 

"That's art!" she exclaimed, and was also very clear to point out that some of my other sketches (not colored in) were most definitely 'not art'.  This is an example of the kind of stars she looked at:

Later in the morning she asked me if we could draw together.  I said, "Sure, as long as I can do math stuff."  She agreed and I pulled out my sketch book, and she got to drawing.  Much to my surprise I saw a star emerge on her page.  I didn't think about taking pictures because I was pretty absorbed in figuring out how to make some 10 stars and sometimes pulling out the camera makes her grumpy.

As she is wont to do, she talked her way through her drawing.  I wish I had paid better attention, but I did notice she started with one star and then divided it on the inside and then colored in each section. She colored in the white space around the rays which created a circle.

Around the circle she drew five rays, colored them in between each ray, and on the outside to make new points/rays.  Eventually it became a triangle.

At some point I realized she was doing her own star proof, trying to figure out from memory the basic structure of the stars I had shown her earlier in the morning.  In the video below I ask her to tell me about her drawing.  I probably interrupt too much, but it's obvious to me that she is working hard to understand how stars are built.  When I listen back to it I also heard a lot of mathematical terminology in her explanation.

I really just wanted a chance to hear what she thought about what she drew.  But, I think it is also a perfect snapshot of a child in the process of creating mathematical meaning for herself. Her star is and isn't like mine or even mathematically correct. But, it is her thinking process and her own little starry path of inquiry, which I find really exciting.  I wonder what will happen next?!?

1 comment:

  1. I can't get enough videos of her explaining things. :) My favorite part is when she says "irregular."


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