It's that time of year again. Time to sift through our memories, projects, and workbooks to choose the samples that best represent our learning to date. In the area of mathematics our spine has been Math U See. This program gives a clear, no-frills, pure look at maths. Unfortunately the HEU doesn't appreciate the end of unit tests as our sole sample of learning in the area of maths.
After 14 years of putting together work sample portfolio's, I have used a variety of techniques to present our work. In the primary years (ageds 6-12), I sent in samples of completed Math U See lesson worksheets and also included another small project/picture. Sometimes it was written narrations about maths in history, a project based upon a story read ( eg. a tessellation pattern patchwork quilt design inspired by The Little Rag Coat), photo's of the children playing a maths game or creating something with maths manipulatives, or a nature notebook entry including mathematical concepts such as measurement, symmetry, size, shape and so on.
In the teen years I changed my approach to giving my teens a maths-related project to work on each year to complement our Math U See lessons and to demonstrate real-life, creative learning in the area of maths.
Our Kitchen Garden Project involved caring for their own plot, planning which vegies they would plant, measuring the plot and working out its perimetre, laying out the position of the plants, then drawing the plot to scale on graph paper. The second part of the project demonstrated using the measurements to work out the surface area of the plot (how much mulch is needed), the volume of soil in the plot, and keeping a record of the harvest. The harvest totals were tallied up and then placed into a graph to illustrate the crop yields from that growing season.
Our Home Business Project involved two parts. The first part was a look at personal finances, budgeting, making a money plan to suit your life goals etc. The second part was learning about home business opportunities, thinking about a viable home business, working out how you will market it, the laws that pertain to your area, what services/products you will provide, and putting together a 5 year start up plan.
For our project we used Down To Earth by Rhonda Hetzel and Faith-Based Family Finances for the personal finance segment and research on Home Business for the business segment of this project. MoneySmart is a financial guide website by ASIC that has a number of lesson unit ideas that might help. These units are based upon the Australian Curriculum for schools, but can be useful for homeschool teens as well.
Our Tessellation Art Project involved reading about Escher and other artists, considering their artwork, discussing the geometry principles in the art and then creating our own tessellation art. The first sample included a simple paper tessellation demonstrating basic principles. The second sample was a completed art project using a combination of tessellation techniques.
Here are some links to help you create your own Tessellation Art Project:
Tessellations Project: Intro to Geometry - a lesson plan
Creating Tessellations - a lesson plan
Tessellations - website with information, history, project ideas
M.C. Escher - about the life of Escher and his art
Geometry Project. This year we have been digging deeper into geometry exploring Vedic maths, atomic structure, the golden ratio, and platonic solids. I am in the process of pulling together our work samples for this unit, and am using the project ideas from the Fractal Foundation.
And to finish with, here is some fun exploring Fibonacci numbers.
What maths-related projects have your teens worked on?
I'm looking for ideas for next year.
Can you help?
Music plays a big part in our family culture and our life of learning. Enriched through exploring folksongs, hymns, psalms, musicals and popular songs from around the world and enlivened through the joy of playing music with friends and with our church community. Music strains float through our home when we are happy, thoughtful, angry, sad, bored, studious, cleaning, or gardening.
When they were little I taught my girls some beginner piano and music theory to start them on their journey. When they reached their teens, they all found different instruments to play. Keyboard, Violin, Drums, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Piano. It was a natural progression for them.
I offer piano and theory lessons to students and homeschoolers who wish to play piano on their own musical journeys. And, on this note, I'd like to let you know that I have a few places available on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Contact me or visit my music lesson blog for more information and to book your place.
Little Mountain Music