Today we integrated math and art by making spirolaterals. After a good syllable-dissection of the word itself, I demonstrated the steps to making a spirolateral for the 3's multiplication family. Once you decide which number you will work with, you list its products in order until they reach double-digits. For the 3s family, the products were 3, 6, and 9. You then repeat these numbers in order about 5 times. Next to those numbers, you begin this pattern of directions - right, down, left, up. You now have a map to create your spirolateral! The students decided where on their graph paper to start, and what colors to use for each number. Then they simply had to follow the directions - 3 spaces right, spaces down, 9 spaces left, 3 spaces up, and on and on. The 3's spirolateral will always look like the one above. Will the others be similar?
As we found out, they are all quite different! Some spirolaterals have a clear end, like the 3's above. Some were a simple rectangle or square, and some created a never-ending series of loops.
Here we have the spirolateral for the 1's family. This turned out to be the most interesting one. The 1's family repeats a series of 9 numbers, as opposed to the just 3 numbers that the 3's family had. As they followed each step in their map, the students were so excited to see their pattern coming together into an interesting figure.
Little people, big minds.