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

Posted by on Monday, February 5, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Dear SAVY Families, 

We had a very exciting second day of Spring SAVY 2024: Spatial Smarts. Your mathematicians continued to impress with their knowledge of math and dedication to their learning.  

We started the day by reviewing concepts from week one, but we quickly dove into our new concepts for the week. First, we introduced polygons. A polygon is a flat, closed shape with at least three straight lines and angles. For example, a triangle and square are regular polygons, but a circle and heart are not polygons. Mathematicians used tangrams to create their own irregular polygons. They got to use their creativity and tangram set to create polygons, draw their polygons, and then hang their new polygons up to show the whole class. We discovered that you can make irregular polygons by putting noncongruent sides of regular polygons together.  

Our next lesson was about polyominoes – shapes that are made up using squares. Our mathematicians were familiar with dominoes, or shapes that are made up using two squares. However, they had to use a problem-solving process to discover triominoes, shapes made using three squares, and pentominoes, shapes made using five squares. The pentominoes were the most difficult to discover all twelve of them, but once the mathematicians knew that there were twelve and that all twelve resembled a letter, they had more success in discovery. To end this lesson, mathematicians were given a pentominoes puzzle to solve. The twelve pentominoes can be put together to create a rectangle, but it is very difficult. I was impressed at our mathematicians’ problem-solving skills when trying to figure this out! This puzzle-solving process was the highlight of the day for many of them.  

Our final lesson of the day was about nets, drawings, and mat plans. Both nets and mat plans are two-dimensional objects that are used to portray three-dimensional objects. We used the example of a photograph, a two-dimensional object that shows something in three dimensions, to start our learning on this concept. Our mathematicians first looked at drawings and mat plans to predict how many blocks it would take to make the three-dimensional shape. They then had the opportunity to build the shape using stacking blocks. Finally, our mathematicians looked at nets to predict, when folded, which nets would make a box and which nets would make an open box. The mathematicians got to then cut and fold their net to test their prediction! Many did not finish all of their nets, so I know they are looking forward to completing this activity next week.  

Questions to ask your mathematician: 

  • What is a polygon? Can you give me some examples of shapes that are polygons or are not polygons?  
  • What is a domino? Triomino? Tetramino? Pentomino? Which of these shapes did you find most difficult to discover? What is the problem-solving process that you used to make sure you had all of them?  
  • What is an example of something two-dimensional that represents something that is three-dimensional?  
  • How did you develop your spatial smarts today? How did these activities make you spatially smarter?  

I hope your mathematicians have a great week at school, and I am looking forward to seeing them next Saturday for our final day of Spring SAVY 2024: Spatial Smarts! 


Miss Gruchot