Saturday, May 1, 2010

Table TOP Math - make tops, learn math, have fun!

**Update**This post has been updated, here.

I don't think we're supposed to have this much fun...or do this much math...when sick. ;)

We made "table tops"...tops that, you guessed it, spin on the table. As I led my 7yo student through the lesson, I asked him to help me identify mathematical vocabulary as we constructed the tops. We then experimented with all kinds of designs, trying to guess what each would look like when spinning. Here's a short video showing some of our table tops in action...

I made a pdf document showing the steps to make a table top and the mathematical vocabulary/math extensions that can be discussed during the process. It's appropriate for ages 7-12 or so. Adjust mathematical vocabulary accordingly.

Coincidentally, I just picked up If You Were a Quadrilateral by Molly Blaisdell (2010 publication) that uses the majority of the vocabulary we reviewed today. It's a perfect go-along. We also recalled the Lell Dragons ("Pair of Lells!" = parallel lines), the "'cute" steeply angled rooftops (acute angles) and the Mountains of Obtuse (obtuse angles) from Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland. Not to mention parallelograms as described in Sir Cumference and the First Round Table


  1. I would love to have a copy of your pdf file. This looks like fun!

    I've been enjoying your math series. I hope you will send a post in to the Math Teachers at Play blog carnival.

    By the way, you can share documents easily on your blog by using Docstoc. You can even embed them, making it easy for people to see the file immediately.

    Unless you really like mailing the files by hand...

  2. This looks wonderful! I'd love a copy of the pdf. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Thanks, both of you! Denise, I submitted this to the blog carnival...thanks for the heads-up. I'll look into Docstoc. I've never used it.

    Maria, I tried to find your contact information on your blog and failed. Can you email me (in the bar at right) your contact info?

  4. I'd love the PDF - thanks!
    heidi at franticallysimple dot com

  5. I would love a copy of your PDF file. Always looking for new ideas to make Math fun. Thank

  6. Cool activity! Thanks for sharing. You can put your PDF up on Scribd and then embed it into the blog through their widget (the same way you embed videos). This way, people can see PDFs in the blog and download them, too, without you having to mail individually.

  7. Love this activity! I'm always looking for hands-on, fun math activities. I would be very grateful for a copy of your pdf.

    Thank you,

  8. I would love a copy of your pdf. My 6 year old is always asking for new math activiities. Thanks! My email address

  9. If you still have the pdf for this, I would love it, also.


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