"There is no one way"

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pattern Blocks

Pattern blocks are ubiquitous in elementary schools, but they're not commonly seen in middle school or high school. Yet, they do offer plenty of interesting curricular opportunities. (And yes, they're fun!) One of the activities I created for them, Angles Around A Point (Lab 1.1 in Geometry Labs) is definitely among my most popular for middle school, or for Day 1 of a Geometry course. I have heard of its use in many classrooms.

Here is a photo from a lesson on symmetry in my Space course, a few years ago:
Student-created dodecagon: 3-fold rotational symmetry, no mirrors
In any case, I have now created a Pattern Blocks launch page on my Web site, linking to various pattern blocks activities I have designed over the years, including one I have not shared before: Wallpaper Starters. Here is an example of the latter:
Extend the pattern, making sure the four given lines are lines of symmetry for the (infinite) tiling you generate.

Add pattern blocks to your teaching repertoire! Your students will thank you, and you will not regret it.


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