Saturday, 25 January 2014

Construct-a-Snowflake (much more than folding paper)!

Over the festive period (the last week before we broke up for Christmas) I was looking for activities I could give my classes to do that would not only engage them, but also keep their Mathematics skills going.

I stumbled across @c0mplexnumber's (Clarissa Grandi) resource on the TES...

The resource gets students to accurately construct a regular hexagon to then create a snowflake from.

The reason I like this resource so much is that it uses a lot of skills:

Using compasses to construct a circle of a given radius
Using compasses to construct a regular hexagon within the drawn circle
Knowledge of key words like 'radius', 'circumference' etc
Knowledge of regular Polygons - you could then discuss interior/exterior angles etc
Drawing lines of symmetry
Understanding Rotational Symmetry
Reflections
using Tracing Paper

In my experience so far, students NEED to practise their use of compasses regularly as there's always a bunch of students in each class that seem to struggle with these skills. Additionally, the amount of students that seem to be unaware of how they can use tracing paper in their examinations to perform transformations always surprises me.

So, I ran the activity with my y8 and y9 classes. I demonstrated with the classes, both using my IWB/SMART notebook and by showing them on the table at the front of the class. The results were fantastic and have been stuck up on my classroom windows for everyone to enjoy from not only my room, but the school playground/reception area too!

You can download Clarissa's resource here:

http://www.tes.co.uk/resourcedetail.aspx?storycode=6377262

Here's how my students' snowflakes look...

 You can see how detailed they are!
I have another window full of these and they look great when outside looking up to my classroom windows!

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