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Fun Ways To Integrate Art and Math This Summer

Create polyhredras from mathcraft.wonderhowto

Create your own polyhredras (photo: mathcraft.wonderhowto.com)

Summer can bring ‘brain-drain’ to young and old alike.

Be sneaky — enjoy your summer break AND integrate art and math. I bet they won’t even notice!

Research shows that kids lose an average of 2-3 months of math comprehension every summer.

Don’t let those wonderful little vessels of brainpower turn to mush!
It will cost you ZERO! I’m figuring you have paper at home, right?

(Don’t even get me started on limiting the hours of electronics–it’s an ongoing challenge in our home.)

Integrating art and math will help with

  • problem solving skills
  • abstract thinking
  • critical thinking
  • intuitive sense
  • eye-hand coordination
  • spacial relations

If you join in and make it a family affair, well, we all know the benefits of quality time together.

Turn off the TV and hide the iPods.

Examples from nature of Fibonacci Spirals

Natural Fibonacci spirals inspire art-making.

Have you heard of ‘Fibonacci Art’? Leonardo Fibonacci has created quite an interest in our house, so here’s the low-down. The number sequence, which is found often in nature, is named after 12th century mathematician, Leonardo Fibonacci. He didn’t discover the sequence; the number sequence had been part of Hindu-Arabic mathematics for centuries.

Fun Trivia Fact — This sequence falls under the Mathematical domain of number theory and its most famous problem concerned rabbits. The problem read:
Start with a single pair of rabbits. Any pair of rabbits of one generation will produce a pair for the next generation, and then another pair of rabbits for the generation after that. But then they will die. How many rabbits will be produced in the nth generation? Cool, eh?

In the Fibonacci number sequence each number is the sum of the previous two numbers. Beginning with 1 (although modern mathematicians now start with 0), the sequence is as follows: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233… and so it goes.

This Fibonacci math art project involves the Fibonacci Spiral. This project is process-based and explores shapes based on proportion.

 

A Pi skyline created by graphing Pi.

Create a skyline by graphing Pi .

Here are some more great ways to keep your
kids’ minds churning with ideas:

Create Your Own Polyhedras

Pi Skyline Art? Who knew graphing could be so beautiful?

Powerful Paper Ninja Stars – for older kids

Post-It-Note Art – A few packs of notes and let ’em loose!

Best site to learn to draw Tessellations – for older kids and you!

Engineer a Bridge! – for older kids

 

For a more traditional approach, but still a heck of a lot of fun:

Math Worksheets:
Grades 1-6

Middle School

High School and Secondary

The mathematician does not study pure mathematics because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it and he delights in it because it is beautiful.
—J.H.Poincare (1854-1912)

Tell Us–

Do you make your kids do the dirty deed (math!) during summer break? How does that usually work out for you? Do they enjoy it? Share your thoughts below –you’ll feel better.  😉

My daughter's math sheet from 6th grade.

My daughter’s math sheet–not sure who wrote the ‘Super’, but she wrote the ‘98%’. 😉

Barbara Balkin, Founder and ARTkinIST 

 

 

 

 

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