Well, with the new school year well underway I am delighted to be working with 7 classes of students at Charlie Lake School again this year. I am fortunate to have a room to base my math lessons in — having a base is so much easier than having to truck all my materials and manipulatives around on a cart and I am very appreciative that there is a space for me.
But having a room also means there is a hall bulletin board for displaying student work, and to get the school year going I decided to have the two grade 2 classes each make pattern block plates. Since I have a die cutting machine and the dies to cut some of the pattern block shapes, the students used these construction paper pieces to create their designs.
There were only two instructions:
First, students were to glue a yellow hexagon into the centre of the plate. From there they had free rein as long as they were making a design with a pattern or some symmetry involved. The classes were short — I get one group for 30 minutes and the other for 35, but even within that time frame the students produced some lovely designs. While I was hanging the plates in the hall many of the older students were stopping to admire them, picking out some they particularly liked.
If you have access to pattern block pieces, I encourage you to try the project with your class. Even some older classes would enjoy creating the designs.