Yesterday we got creative with math!  Whaaa??  Each student received 4 identical shaped and sized isosceles triangles (at least two sides are the same length).  Our first challenge was to see how many different shapes they could make where each triangle touched another triangle on a side of the same length. We had the “talon”/claw, the Fennec fox, a house, a square, a rectangle and so on…

Then we used only two squares and tried to find out how many DIFFERENT shapes we could make (it was 3). Then I took a set of triangles and cut one side to make 3 different length sides and I asked them to predict how many different shapes we could make—then we tested it. We could make six. Why couldn’t we make six with the other triangles?!?  (They figured it out!)

Then a student wanted to use 4 sides—so we cut a set of triangles to make a 4-sided polygon, predicted the number of shapes and tested it. SUCCESS!

That led to one group using a third 4-sided shape and another group using our original shapes and both trying to find a way track the various shapes… which led to a discussion about organized dresser drawers (or not) and messy math or science. 

STEM: Creative with Math?!