Posted by : Karen Saturday, May 12, 2012

This wonder workshop was inspired by Fibonacci's numbers - a friend had reminded me of the concept over Christmas and it is something I really look forward to exploring with my day, when I, not a Mathmetician, can grasp it more deeply in order to teach it!

But as I was researching it, I began to think about how amazing shapes are.. and thus the idea was born!
We started off with a bit of Shape Sudoku in a sense. I had cut out as many shapes in as many colours as there were children (so in this case there were 9 different shapes, in 9 different colours). They all went into a pillowcase which was passed around the table and then the children had to draw out 9 different shapes. Then came the tricky part. The kids had to try and make sure they had one type of every shape and one of every colour!

This was challenging, no doubt about it, and rather tricky to administer as well - who shares first, how to help the kids to share what they have two of whilst not giving away the shape/color they need to make it work etc. In hindsight, I think it would ahve been better simply use 5 shapes/colours, and to get them to work in teams.

Then it was time to make our own shapes. Our first was a 3D ball, that would look lovely for parties or Christmas. Simply, cut strips, put a thingy (those things you punch through paper and bend those legs over on either side? Sorry, it's been a long day on my computer!) in the top. Let me show you:

Stunning hey? And then we made another shape out of home made plastic! It was incredible to watch what vinegar did to milk - and what my imagination did with that knowledge! Had I ever eaten vinegar and milk together? Had I inadvertently made plastic in my gut?!

I'd highly recommend doing this outside, as the making of the curdled milk, the pouring and straining can be quite messy. It was full of wonder as the curdles formed so quickly, and I was full of wonder at how smooth and supple the girls managed to make theirs, whilst the boys were somewhat bobbly! They then cut their own shapes out of the plastic.

And finally, a bit of FUN! Building towers out of toothpicks and mini-marshmallows. The challenge was to see who could build the tallest tower, after talking a bit about how engineers use shapes to increase the strenght of structures. Despite mentioning how triangles are stronger than squares, many squared structures were built - and quite tall as well!!!

Happy days of wonder!

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