The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

COMPASS ART 5: More Fun with Euclid

(October 15, 2015)  I showed the students a bunch of pictures of basic mandalas.1  People were intrigued, but alas not all intrigued by the same style.   SECTIONING CIRCLES EUCLID’S WAY One thing that all of these mandalas had in common, though, is that they start out with construction of a circle which is then divided into equivalent sectors.   How…

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COMPASS ART 1: Intro to Geometry

(September 17, 2015)  Our new math circle course on compass art for 9-11 year olds began with a switcheroo activity:  I gave everyone a printout of an image, and about every 30 seconds said “switch!”  I asked them to pass their page clockwise one person.  The images included: Mandalas from various traditions (Celtic, etc), Zarah Hussein’s Islamic art, Native American…

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More Exploring the Circle, and Pedagogical Questions

(February 18, 2014)  I received two interesting Math Circle emails this week: “It sounds like you all had a delightful and spiraling investigation and the participants are really owning the learning…  Thanks for packing so much into math circle!”  This came from a parent and professional educator, in response to my 2/4 report. “What does any of this have to…

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Bouncing between Rationalism and Empiricism

Bouncing between Rationalism and Empiricism (February 4, 2014)  I felt a smidge of trepidation coming to Math Circle today: Gina was not able to make it with the art/henna component, and I know that at least a few of the kids signed up more for the art than for the math.  Would I be able to hold their interest in…

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The Perfect Circle, the Perfect Rock, the Perfect Perpendicular Bisector

Interesting. Surprising. True.   “Well, we don’t want to waste erasers here in Alexandria, so this is the best method,” argued R (playing the role of Euclid), after she demonstrated how to perpendicularly bisect a line with only a ruler, a straightedge, and a piece of chalk. She faced off in debate against characters who might have different perspectives on…

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Attempting the Flower of Life

Some things in math we choose to believe even though we can’t know for sure. Michaelangelo, Bernini, Lloyd Wright (or, the students wondered, was it simply Wright?), Zarah Hussein, Native American geometry designs, mapmakers art, the feng shui compass, and a photo of a piece of jewelry covered the table as the students tried to figure out what the pictures…

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