## 04 September 2008

### Maths manipulative materials - let's take a closer look!

For the last couple of days, we have been taking a closer look at some of our maths manipulative materials; doing some individual and 'with-a-partner' investigations.  Pretty much anything goes, although it has to have some connection with the world of mathematics.

Let's take a closer look at some of what has been going on!

To begin with, Virginia and Meghna decided to make tens with their Unifix cubes.  'We are making patterns with two colours,' said Meghna.  'Yes,' added Virginia.  'We made groups of ten and sorted them and put them together.'

When they had finished, Owen spotted that they had made 15 sticks of ten altogether.  'You have used 150 cubes,' he told them.

Sivert also made tens with his cubes.  'I am trying to use 100 cubes,' he said.  'I will be using ten tens!'

How many has he got so far?

Now, what about this for a long column of cubes?  It was the start of Harrison's huge challenge.....

.....which needed to be carried to the floor when he ran out of desk!  'I am going to make 100,' he began.  'No, I think it will be more than 100.'  He clicked together cubes.....

.....and eventually made them go all the way round the carpet.  Sadly lunchtime got in the way of us finding out exactly how many there were in all.  But we all agreed it was more than 100!

Thomas and Quentin also liked the idea of trying to make their cubes go all the way round the carpet.

'We're trying to make a circle,' said Quentin.

'And we're going to count them,' added Thomas, somewhat optimistically.

For one of her investigations, Shani started with a pile of cubes.  'I am putting them together.  I am seeing which one is the highest,' she explained.

Tatiana was working with buttons.  'I have sorted them by colour,' she began.  'Yellows are here, blues here, reds here.  I am going to count to see which has the most.'

'I used triangles and squares to make a pattern,' explained Aabis.

Look what else you can make using just squares and triangles:

and look what you can do with just circles:

Shabano put her buttons in pairs.

'I have made a pattern using triangles,' said Tommy.

'Then you can put them together like this.....

.....or like this.....'

Seyf lined up some rows of sorting bears.  'That's a pattern,' he said.  'It is green green green, blue blue blue, green green green, blue blue blue.....'

Raamy also used bears.  'I have 11 green bears,' he announced.

Mark counted 24 orange bears in his pattern. (Unfortunately though, the photographer cropped a few of them out of the picture.....how many are missing, I wonder)

Sharukh made a pattern of bears with Leon.  'We are going to find out how many bears we there are in our pattern,' he explained.

Chloe and Viivi wanted their bears to look rather more regimented.  They were trying to line up pairs of baby bears in rows of ten.....

How many baby bears did they use altogether?  They had 6 rows of ten.....

Leon continued working with sorting bears.  'I am making the same pattern as the carpet,' he told us.  'Blue, yellow, blue, yellow.....'

Martin used pattern blocks to make this pattern:

'I used ten orange squares,' he said.

Shani also used pattern blocks to make a very complex pattern.  It began like this.....

.....and by the time she had finished, she had used 24 white shapes.

just look what you can make.....

What shapes do you see immediately surrounding the hexagon?

If you don't fancy making intricate patterns, how about sorting and counting?

How many hexagons can you count?  Are there more triangles than hexagons?  What other questions can you ask?

Harrison and Owen worked together with pattern blocks.  'We are making a beehive,' explained Harrison.

'We are using all yellow and all hexagons,' added Owen.

When shapes fit together like this, with no gaps, it is called tessellation.  How can you find out what other shapes 'tessellate'?

Of course, this is just a 'snapshot' of what we got up to, but I think you can see that a lot of thinking and learning went on and importantly, a lot of fun was had at the same time.

Motoko said...

Hello, we are very excited again this year to follow your blog and what is happening in Leon's class. He is a bit nervous and shy but he loves going to school already so big improvement. Please let me know if you need any other help in promoting this great blog site!! Vive class 2i!!

Motoko, Leon's mum