Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chalk Walk and Tessellations at the Kingston Library

This weekend marked the last meeting of the Bard Math Circle at the Kingston Library for the spring 2012 semester. Bard undergraduates are preparing for finals, seniors will soon be graduating, and Bardians retreat for the summer.

The circle coincided with the Kingston Library's Chalk Walk, so we planned out a chalk tessellation activity as our hands-on project. We started by learning about symmetries and transformations using Scott Kim's Half Words activity in pairs, and then everyone designed their own tessellation, based on a square grid.

Heading outside, we grabbed chalk and claimed sidewalk squares on Franklin Street and chalked out our designs. Here's a gallery of the sidewalk surrounding the library, including our designs.


After tessellating, we solved the interesting problems and the Bard math majors presented solutions. I'm excited how they're developing as teachers! They're learning to engage the students, share multiple strategies, and connect the problems to other contexts. One Bardian is graduating, and will head off to earn her masters in teaching degree and become a math teacher. Next year looks like it will be in good hands with the Bardians who return as seniors.

Check out the last photo, as we celebrated the end of the semester at Boice Brothers Dairy for some delicious ice cream!