Friday, November 13, 2015

Tessellations and Geometry, teaching kids

Perhaps I should let the photographs speak for themselves.

The picture is from our first class.

The teacher, Jude, drew the circle and swung the arcs you see on the blackboard when  he realized we needed to watch the circle and its daisy wheel come into being. He knew how to help each student as they learned to twirl a compass - not easy for some children. Jude was essential to our success. .

When we looked for the triangles in the circle they were with me, as you can see.

I introduced the wall tiles and carvings from the Alhambra at the end of class. Everyone knew immediately why I had brought the pictures; they was fascinated.
I showed them how carefully the craftsmen had made every joint as perfect as possible. They understood.
Jude taped them to the blackboard. He invited me to come to school earlier for the second day so that we could do more

The next day we expanded the circle . That was easy. Extending the segments of the hexagon, making a new bigger star was an obvious step.

 So we tackled the 'rolling circles' of the church windows.   Much harder... not making the circles but finding the muntin pattern within the jumble.

The older children were the most successful.

Some children explored on their own and showed me their work.

I brought in 2 star dodecahedrons* for them to hold -  a great hit.

I had fun, learned a lot. The kids practiced and understood.
And they were patient: The compasses I brought were accurate but delicate and hard to adjust. The students shared and adapted. I will find them better tools.  

 * That may not be the proper name  for a dodecahedron studded with pyramids - I haven't found a good reference. Please advise if you know.

No comments: