Number Line · origami · Paper Toy · summer art/math

Origami Boats and Meandering Number Line with 4-year olds

How to Make an Origami Toy Boat
How to Make an Origami Toy Boat

Full disclosure: I did not try out teaching 4-year olds how to make origami boats. It’s not that I didn’t want to, or that I chose not to, it was just that there were other things I wanted to do more, and my time with these little ones was limited. Much to my delight, though, after we used the boats in  our activity, the children asked me about how they were made. I did a demonstration, with hope that this may encourage an interest in  paper-folding.

Toy Boats
origami Boats, stacked

I chose to use these paper boats because they stack. Just for the record, I was curious to see if they floated. Turns out ;Yes! Until the paper absorbs too much water, these vessels are sea worthy. What was more useful for me, though, was that they can stand on their own, so that we could use them as playing pieces for a board game.

During my workshops with these children I noticed that even the most accomplished child in the group could not coordinate counting items with the movement of his hands. In other words, if there was a  pile of 8 stones, these children would end up counting inaccurately because their fingers would move out of sync with the numbers that they were reciting. I was really interested to see this, partially because  I’ve read that there is something about learning to play the piano that  helps children be better at math: this now makes sense to me, as playing notes would help train a person to coordinate fingers with intention.

Toy Boats and Board
Toy Boats and Board, drawn on large paper

Wanting to try out a simple, and, yes, frugal, made-from-paper activity to encourage accurate counting skills, I worked out a sweet game that the kids seemed to like . What we did mimics  classic board games where a die is thrown, and the player advances a certain number of spaces along a line. It was, however,  important to me that I didn’t want to create winners or losers.  This is how it went: the playing pieces were these paper boats, and when two boats land on the same space, they become a team, and stacked together. The point of the game is to get all the boats stacked together as a team before any boat reaches the end of the meandering number line, which, just, for no particular reason other than I ran out of space on my paper, was 42 units long.

Beginning at 0
Beginning at zero

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the kids playing this game, but, they played in groups of three and four, and they seemed to enjoy watching others play as well as playing the game themselves. Counting spaces, counting the dots on the dice, and (especially!) anticipating what throw of the die would yield the desired outcome were all challenging but doable for these kids.

Each of the five sessions that I worked with these students, one-third of my lesson plan was to focused my interpretation of relationship thinking, such as creating patterns from shaped paper,  developing finger sense, estimating, discussing what was the same and different about shapes and flowers, and this unit counting game.

Other parts of my time of my time with these kids was artful numbers, which I what my next and last post about my time with these students will be about.

I had to learn how to make these origami boats for this project. I looked many different models, but this one that I’ve shown  I found most enchanting. I put together a video of it, that is worth watching because there’s some pointers included that I just can’t fit onto a tutorial page.

Happy boating.

Addendum 5/6/2017 Just came across a tutorial that shows an alternative way of making this boat. An interesting way of altering the folding method https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAgzkcbqUYo&app=desktop by Gregor Müller

Accordion Books · Art and Math · Arts in Education · Math and Book Arts · Number Line

Endless Accordion

pocketed-accordion-fives

I’m once again revisiting accordions and number lines, because they are both  infinity fun. What I’ve attempted to do here is to create a classroom friendly accordion book whose pages are pockets which can contain changing content, in this case a variety of number lines.

What makes this project classroom friendly is that it is designed to be used with a ubiquitous material: standard sized, standard weight copy paper. It requires a few simple folds, and very few materials. I’ve made templates that can be printed out, but lacking the resource of a copy machine, this can all be easily constructed without my templates.

Endless accordion with pockets.
Endless accordion with pockets.

The accordion is made from units of full-size sheets of paper, folded, then attached together. For the basic number line I recommend using 6 papers, which will result in 12 pockets. Since zero through 10 needs 11 pockets, the extra pocket at the end conveniently implies “dot dot dot …. on and on …to be continued. ”

The shows where the fold lines occur.
The shows where the fold lines occur.

A full sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ (or A4) is folded so it ends up looking like the picture below:

Two pockets from one sheet of paper
Two pockets from one sheet of paper

The tabs at the side are there to create an attachment surface for other the next pockets.

pocketed-accordion-paper-clips
Attaching pockets together

The tabs of adjoining papers can be attached with glue, tape, sewing, paper fasteners, staples or paper clips. I ch0ose paper clips.

One piece of paper, folded, has room for four numbers
One piece of paper, folded, has room for four numbers

The cards with the numbers are also made from sheets of uncut, folded paper. They are folded so that they are just a bit narrower than the pockets.  Once they’ve been folded they can be glued (or taped etc) shut but I don’t bother doing this, as they seem to stay together just fine without gluing.

Counting by 10's
Counting by 10’s

One set of numbers can make four different number lines.

Counting by ones
Counting by ones

I’m providing links to PDF’s. There’s a PDF for the pocket, which I recommend that you make 6 copies of. This template is in black and white only. I hand colored in the dividing lines.

As for the numbers, I have one full color PDF here, and one that has the black and white outlines of the numbers if you prefer to let have your students color in the numbers themselves. At the moment I only have files for paper measured in inches, but in the next day or two I will update with A4 versions as well.

template for pocket
template for pocket

PDF 8.5 x 11 for accordion pockets lines

numbers color accordion pocket screen shot
Numbers in color

PDF 8.5 x 11 accordion number line, colored numbers

Number to color in yourselves
Number to color in yourselves

PDF  8.5 x 1 blank numbers number line for accordion pockets

If you’re interested I’ve posted something about my interest in the number line on my Google+ page https://goo.gl/ScI0nZ

I would love to hear from anyone who constructs this project with a class!

Art and Math · How-to · Number Line

The Envelope Number Line Tutorial

How to Make a Number Line with a Parade of Envelopes , Paula B. Krieg
How to Make a Number Line with a Parade of Envelopes

This page has been many days in the making: It has been some time since I’ve felt so challenged by a tutorial page that I wanted to make.

I see this structure as a way to make a number line, but it can be many different things. My last post showed pictures of how the pockets facilitate exchangeable content. I can imagine it with all sorts of variations. Milestones of a journey would lend itself well to this structure. A timeline comes to mind, too, showing hours, or days, or weeks, or months, or years, or centuries, with the cards giving information about changes over various time intervals.

One of my favorite time-line projects that I’ve done with 10-year-old children is one that showed major world events on the top side of the line, and personal life events, such as the birth of a cousin, on the bottom side. Hmm…I should dig up those photos, that was a great project, but I digress.

number line evens
One version of this number line, set up to show even numbers

Here’s my black and white version of the directions:

How to Make a Number LIne out of a parade of Envelopes, B & W
How to Make a Number Line out of a parade of Envelopes, B & W

If anyone makes this PLEASE send photos! You can find my email under the About tab.

Enjoy.