Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Art In Math: Picture Pie

So I'm still trying to use this blog as the place to share the real stuff I did in my real classroom with my real students.

Today's topic:  Art in Math:  Fractions

Several areas of math lend themselves well to art.  The first two that pop into my mind are geometry and fractions.

Now for the problem. . . when do you have the time to do this cool stuff?

My best response is that every single day I make decisions to shorten or sacrifice part of some sort of learning for some other sort of learning.  The pragmatist in me says, do it as a station on a day when you do a variety of different thematic activities.  I've done that a lot with Fridays with Everyday Math, and it's worked very well.  {A Practice Page, A Game, and Creative Activity}

Now for Picture Pie!  {I have used this very successfully with both 2nd grade and 4th grade.  The difference was 4th graders used compasses to construct their circles, and I had already punched out all the circles for 2nd grade.}

Picture Pie by Ed Emberley cuts circles into halves, quarters, and eighths to make all sorts of plants, animals, patterns, and scenes.  It is soooo COOL and totally worth a look!  {I think it could also be a fully integrated math, art, and writing activity if given the time.}

So here is what I did with 2nd graders:

1.  Everyone starts with one circle in their hands and scissors.  We fold and cut in 1/2.  Then we take one half and cut into fourths.  Then we take one fourth and cut into eighths.  We identify the math fractions terms, too.

2.  Then I give them a couple minutes to make anything using any parts of the circle they want.  It is surprising what kids are starting to see already!

3.  Then I reveal the book.  I'm walking around and enthusiastically pointing out how the butterfly is just 4 fourths and so on. { I'm a HUGE believer in teacher enthusiasm!}

4.  I pass out to each team a few idea pages and a load of different colored circles.  Each person has a small black or white piece of construction paper (4 1/2 x 6 inches)  I have plenty of extras because some people make lots of stuff and some just make a few.

5.  I let them work, and I only try to intervene when a child is doing nothing or appears frustrated/overwhelmed.  Below was a fairly standard amount of work a second grader could do in about 20-25 minutes.

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