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Spring Saturday SAVY, Week 1, Spatial Smarts: Diving into Dimensions (1st-2nd)

Posted by on Monday, January 29, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Dear SAVY Families,  

We had a wonderful first day of Spring SAVY 2024: Spatial Smarts. We started off our day in our Morning Meeting discussing what it means to have spatial awareness and spatial reasoning skills. We defined spatial awareness as “the ability to know the points and objects in space around us and to recognize and make sense of ourselves in that space.”  

We then quickly jumped into our first lesson: Introduction to Dimensions. We discussed what we already knew about dimensions and compiled a class list of our knowledge that we continuously added to throughout the day. We used the ideas of “lineland,” “flatland,” and “spaceland” to draw and visually represent what it would be like to live in just one or two dimensions. Ask your mathematician if they can demonstrate what it would look like and the challenges we would face if we did not live life in three dimensions. We then hunted around our classroom for objects that have one, two, or three dimensions, and we discussed why it is easiest to find objects that have three dimensions. To finish off our lesson, we used gumdrops and toothpicks to build two and three-dimensional triangles.  

The next topic that we studied was shape transformations. We once again discussed our current knowledge of the word transformation before applying it to shapes. We used an L-shape and grid paper to visualize and practice the shape transformations of a reflection, glide, and rotation. To apply our knowledge of transformations, we played the game of Tetris. The rules explicitly state that you must use shape transformations to get the shapes to fit into the matrix. Our mathematicians had a lot of fun using math knowledge to play a common game! 

Our final topic of the day was symmetry. We started by making shapes using geoboards and rubber bands. Students were challenged to make shapes with exactly one, two, or four lines of symmetry. Finding shapes with exactly two lines of symmetry was definitely the most difficult! We practiced our knowledge of symmetry by investigating the letters of the alphabet and common shapes, such as hearts and smiley faces, to see if they were symmetrical, and, if so, how many lines of symmetry they had. The final math tool that we used was called a mira. A mira is similar to a mirror and is used to investigate symmetry. Students were challenged to answer the question, “Is the human face symmetrical?” We used our miras and magazines to try to answer this question, and we used the magazines to find other “odd” but symmetrical shapes.  

To find out more about what your mathematician learned, you can ask the following questions:  

  • What is a dimension?  
  • Can you share examples of a one-, two-, or three-dimensional object?  
  • In how many dimensions do shapes transform? 
  • How can you use math to help you strategize in Tetris?  
  • What is a line of symmetry? 
  • Is the human face symmetrical?  

I hope all of our mathematicians have a great week at school. I am looking forward to learning with and from them again next Saturday, February 3, 2024!


Ms. Gruchot 😊