Tag Archives: 4th Grade

Betsy Ross 5-Pointed Star origami activity via @edemaine. #mathchat #artsed

The Museum of Mathematics (@MoMath1) in New York City offers wonderful programs (including many free options!) for children, families, teachers, and math aficionados. A colleague of mine, Alé Cozzi, introduced me to Momath’s monthly Math Encounters series:

Math Encounters is MoMath’s popular free public presentation series celebrating the spectacular world of mathematics, produced with support from the Simons Foundation. http://momath.org/math-encounters/

At a recent-ish Math Encounter, I learned about the amazingness of Erik Demaine (@edemaine), who was the youngest math professor ever invited to join Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s faculty. Besides juggling, knot theory, font creation, and origami, Erik demonstrated his Fold and Cut Theorem. Basically, you take a piece of paper, fold it in some amount of ways, and then make one cut. The results are remarkable. http://erikdemaine.org/foldcut/

Erik told the (potentially historically inaccurate) tale of Betsy Ross using the Fold and Cut method to create 5-pointed stars on the original American flag. I shared this with the 4th grade team, since they study Colonial America and fractions using polygonal shapes.

Here are (possibly) Betsy’s instructions:
http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/flagfoldcut.htm

Here is the template shared by Erik: 5PointStar

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.23.51 PM

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Grateful for yet another awesome year of working with the student reporters of @The_School’s @NewRoarTimes.


I spent Wednesdays from 11:00-11:30am with this amazing group of 4th graders. They gave up 30 minutes of recess time in order to exercise in a different way. They researched, wrote, linked, and cited their way into my heart, and every week I reminded them how much I enjoyed our sessions.

This year, Editor-in-Chief Hope D., reached out to other classes, and it was so gratifying to hear back from 3rd-8th graders who are interested in submitting guest posts to the New Roar Times. Can’t wait for next year!

Follow the kids on Twitter: @NewRoarTimes

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3D-printed prosthetic hands, social justice, and other 4th grade achievements with @DylanMRyder:

A little while ago, I shared the above video with the faculty. I wanted them to know we were much nearer the time when the 3D-printer would be a plug-and-play technology that didn’t require constant maintenance and attention. I also hoped to reinforce the awesome possibilities of 3D-printing and it’s impact on the world. (Remember how President Obama included a plug 3D printing in this year’s State of the Union address?)

Dylan Ryder and I were (at the time) trying to get our Makerbot Replicator2 to successfully and consistently work. I was antsy to finally print out some 6th grade math models, while Dylan and his students in the Maker Club were excited to build and assemble a robot hand. Dylan had been hoping to also initiate a prosthetic limb unit in 4th grade and bring the hand as an incentive. After watching the video I sent, Kate Berten, a 4th grade teacher here at The School at Columbia University, contacted Dylan about prototyping a social justice-inspired unit in the Spring about assistive technologies. As it turned out, the hand Dylan’s students were waiting to print was the same prosthetic hand that the kid in the video was wearing!

The installation of our new updated spring-loaded motor block has allowed us to finally build a Snap Together Robohand. Now, I just have to buy elastic string this afternoon in order to complete the working model…

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Here is a 61-page PDF of instructions from @Makerbot for the Snap Together Robohand :
http://thingiverse-production.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/30/48/5d/92/b1/Snap_Togeather_Robohand_Instructions.pdf

And here are the downloadable files from the Thingiverse for the pieces of the Snap Together Robohand:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:92937/#files

And here is another inspiring video of a class working to design a prosthetic device for their classmate: http://www.fox19.com/story/24256073/northern-ky-seventh-grader-gets-help-from-her-classmates

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