Katie Klein (@KKleinNYC) and Jazmin Sherwood’s 6th grade math students are designing LEGOS in this third or fourth iteration of a project that we prototype and revamp each year. In the past, we’ve used a class account on Tinkercad to construct our 3-D shape, and this year students are working with Autodesk’s 123D Design (@Autodesk123D). Tinkercad is part of Autodesk’s 123D family of free apps for 3D scanning, designing, and slicing apps and software.
In our math project, students solve for the surface area and volume of a one-bump LEGO. Time allowing, they also engineer either a larger traditionally shaped LEGO brick or design a LEGO that isn’t part of a set yet. We are ever grateful to Jeremy Sambuca of The Hewitt School for opening my eyes to this project years ago during a presentation at the now-closed Makerbot store in SoHo.
Here’s the updated lesson plan Katie shared with the children today:
I had such a great day with Ben Raikes (@benedickraikes) and the 6th graders! I spent much of it (freezing) in the park to accompany our three separate learning groups as they tested their water rocket launchers. Many thanks to Katie Klein (@KKleinNYC) and Jazmin Sherwood for helping so generously at today’s soft launch too!
Some groups noticed a few design flaws with their launcher and now have a bit of problem solving to do before Monday’s official class-wide launch. Either their collar was too loose, pieces weren’t fully glued together, screws needed to be tightened, or clamps needs to be height-adjusted. So much prototyping and learning!
Check out how Ben bravely and manually facilitated lift off for many of the rockets in the video below…
I’ve had a deep love and respect for Geometer’s Sketchpad since I was first introduced to it in 1994 as an undergraduate Math major (and aspiring math teacher) at Bryn Mawr College.
Later, I used Geometer’s Sketchpad during my student teaching stint at Strath Haven High School and again as a pre-Algebra/pre-Geometry teacher at The Dalton School.
Today in 6th grade Math at The School at Columbia University, Katie Klein (@KKleinNYC) and her associate teacher, Jazmin Sherwood, facilitated a great lesson on Fractals blending direct instruction, video, and self-paced sketching with and without technology.
1. Homework from the previous night was to watch the first 20 minutes of Fractals, Exploring the Hidden Dimension.
2. Here’s a link to beautiful photos of fractals found in nature: http://io9.com/incredible-photographs-of-fractals-found-in-the-natural-480626285
3. Here are instructions for drawing Sierpinski Triangles with paper and pencil:
4. Here are instructions for drawing Sierpinksi Triangles using Geometer’s Sketchpad on their laptops:
5. Here’s another resource for making other fractals with Geometer’s Sketchpad: http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/PhoenixHS/math/GSP-website/17_Fractals(51-61).pdf
6. With additional time, students could explore fractals with Scratch or Snap (both are web-based block-based programming environments). Here are some links I gathered:
Teaching decimals? Katie Klein and Jazmin Sherwood are in their 6th grade math classroom at The School at Columbia University. I shared with them one of my favorite intro clips from The Simpsons where the creators paid homage to the classic Powers of Ten video by Eames. Sometimes it helps to be the oldest person in the room…