Saturday, January 24, 2009

Artistic Geometry

Geometry is our favorite form of math. Through drawing and building, we experience geometry in different, artistic ways.

The two older kids and Mommy each create a drawing, following the book Artistic Geometry by John Miles. We are learning lines, angles, circles, bi-secting angles, and a variety of polygrams. Shading colors into the angles with our Lyra colored pencils (we purchase these at Great Forest Toys in Fair Oaks, CA) brings the shapes to life!

We tend to stay away from plastic materials, however, we came across two wonderful products at the HSC conference in Sacramento last year. Zometools connect lines into spheres at different angles. We create different polygons and stellations with our Zometools. Here is a picture of Ricky's stellated dodecahedron inside of an icosahedron.
Tubespace are slim tubes that bend and connect into the 5 polyhedra and other shapes. They also glow in the dark!

Folding Circles books are some of our favorite home-learning resources. We fold circles into tetrahedrons, octahedrons and other shapes. Then, we tape or bobby pin shapes together into larger shapes. As the seasons change, we use different colors of circular paper (we buy this at Rudolph Steiner College bookstore) and then our creations become part of our learning environment for a few months. You can see pictures here of our folding circles from autumn hanging from the lamp along with some origami birds, and our current octahedron creations for the winter.

Winter brings snow...or at least in some parts of the world! Although we live about an hour from the snow-capped Sierra mountains, we decided to bring "snow" into our home by making symmetrical snowflakes for our windows out of winter colors. We used kite paper from Rudolph Steiner College bookstore. Gluing smaller versions of the snowflakes onto glass jars, we lit some beeswax candles and watched the beautiful shapes glow in the candlelight!

Speaking of kite of our latest geometrical adventures is folding window stars. One of our family Christmas gifts was a lovely book, Stars and Flowers Window Transparencies by Frederique Gueret.


Artistmama said...

Wow! Creative learning! It's seriously beautiful to see coming from a public school background. If I had had geometry taught to me like that, I would have loved it and maybe felt differently about math. I've been having a hard time imagining what our learning will look like, My son is only 4. what a great example you are of our future. The future looks good and fun!


Linda said...

I love your blog!!!! It's going straight on to my blog list.

Jimena said...

muy bonito

Grandma said...

I love your blog Tan Family. You are such an artistic family!

jenny miller said...

What a great post. Thanks for all the lovely ideas! Those books definitely went on the wish list! Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing your creativity.