Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted! It’s the first time I’ve sat down to download pictures since my hardrive bit the dust. Don’t worry – I didn’t lose anything!
So, we use the math curriculum Right Start Math. It’s fun for me and the kids. I wish I had such fun school work when I was young! Normally the lessons are short and sweet and integrate a lot of manipulatives. However, we read about one project that promised to be a little tedious, but looked really cool. That was the Cotter Tens fractal.
Here is an excerpt from our math manual that describes the Cotter Tens fractal:
Fractals are a new branch of mathematics only a few decades old. There are two types of fractals, regular and random. Scientists use random fractals for computer modeling in order to study some of nature’s irregular patterns and structures. Regular fractals, also called geometric fractals, consist of larger structures that are identical to the smaller structure.
The Tens Fractal, a regular Fractal starts with ten small equilateral triangles, arranged in the pattern of a larger equilateral triangle, the ten triangle. Ten of these triangles arranged in the same pattern forms the hundred triangle. And ten of the hundred triangles in the same pattern forms the thousand triangle, the Cotter Tens Fractal.
One purpose of the building this fractal is to help the children visualize and experience the repeating tens structure of our number system. Another purpose is integrating mathematics and art.
Here are Parker and Sophie getting started:
And after many days, here is the finished product:
And Sarah made one too!
Lots of learning went on during this project. Sarah practiced cutting and gluing skills and learned about triangles. Sophie learned about place value, how triangles have 3 sides and 3 angles, what equilateral triangles are, and patterns. Parker also learned about patterns and geometric designs and reinforced some of his multiplication facts. And me? I learned that young children can’t cut 1,000 triangles without having a lot of backups!
Tags: Art, fractal, math, Right Start