### What Do You See?

For the past few school days, the students have been working on creating Escher-like tessellations (good directions here), and I decided to create a new one myself. I have made a few in the past, but I think they are buried in my closet and I couldn't find them! (Cleaning needed....eventually:)  I was able to find some student work from past years, so my students had good examples to help them understand the concept.

One of the challenges of this activity (for myself as well as for the students) is to determine what our tessellating shapes actually look like. Sometimes we can easily see a bird or a ghost or a face, but other times, it's hard to see anything. So, before I decide what to draw inside my tessellating shape, I thought I'd see if anyone has any ideas. What do you see in this shape? I rotated it so you can see it at different angles....I have a few thoughts, and my students gave me a few ideas, but I'd love to know what someone else sees.

For our tessellations templates, we used two-inch squares. We cut shapes from the left side of the square and the top of the square. We slid these pieces to their opposite sides and taped them on.

This is a picture of my shape, traced over and over onto oak tag (lightly, in pencil), awaiting its inside design.

What do you see??

1. I did tessellations with my middle schoolers last year. What a fun project;) we used them in the display for our STEAM fair:)
I see a herd of buffalo:-)

2. I love doing tessellations with kids! I find it is a great end of year project!

Tara
The Math Maniac

### Memory Wheels - First Day, Last Day, and Any Day in Between!

This post has been moved to:  http://www.cognitivecardiowithmsmm.com/blog/memory-wheels-first-day-last-day-and-any-day-in-between

### Math Class - First Day Activity

Rectangle of pentominoes Many 6th graders seem to have a pretty negative attitude about math, so I try to do something interesting to "grab" them during our first class. Last year, during the first math class, we spent part of the period working with pentominoes. Before working with the pentominoes, however, we played a name game so we could learn each others' names (I find it impossible to start anything else if I don't know some names, and fortunately, I learn them fairly quickly). rectangle outline For the activity, I divided the students into groups of 3 or 4. The directions for the activity were not complicated - the task was to make a rectangle, using all of the pentominoes. I gave students an outline of the rectangle, as pictured to the left, so they would know the correct size of the rectangle. The squares in the grid are each one inch. The rectangle is 5 squares (inches) wide and 13 inches long (13 inches includes the row that has the "Pent

### Ratios Fold it Up!

Getting started with ratios! We pretested ratios, rates, and proportions last week, and I found mixed results in the item analysis. I was surprised to find that very few students were able to write a ratio (the pretest question was: there are 2 hamsters and 1 gerbil - write a ratio of gerbils to hamsters). It wasn't that they wrote the ratio as hamsters to gerbils rather than gerbils to hamsters....they either left it blank, or wrote something that did not resemble a ratio. So, I was glad that I had prepared a couple of Fold it Ups for them to use this week! I think this is the first time I've used this version of Fold it Up (with the triangles folded in) this year, and a few students commented that they like this version better than others (like the one I made for Wed...bummer), because this type won't rip as easily. Click to download...a pic of the inside is in the document. Do you have any favorite ratio activities? Subscribe to Middle School Ma