Saturday, January 7, 2012
Fibonacci For Children - Pony Beads and Pipe Cleaners
I saw a great idea by Susan Caplan over at Suite101, that went perfectly with our reading to the week...
...using pony beads and pipe cleaners to allow younger children to explore the Fibonacci sequence.
I added a simple, cereal and pipe cleaner counting frame...
...that we had made earlier in the week, following instructions from the back of Virginia Walton Pilegard's The Warlord's Beads, the second book from her math-themed series too, because an abacus plays heavily in the illustrations of Joseph D'Agnese's BLOCKHEAD, the Life of Fibonacci...
...and, because it proved very useful for adding up the numbers in Fibonacci's sequence, for counting out beads, and for keeping track of which number in the sequence we were on.
First though, we sorted the pony beads by color, to get us into a mathematical mood, and to bring some order to the chaos, before we started arranging the colored beads according to the pattern of the sequence.
I folded one end of a pipe cleaner back for each girl, so the beads wouldn't fall off as they threaded on a different color for each number in the sequence. When they reached the end of a pipe cleaner, we twisted on another, and continued on.
After a while, we decided to bend the pipe cleaners at the junctions between numbers, so the girls could see the ever widening spiral they were forming.
By the time we had to stop, I had reached 233 in the number sequence, E (age 7) was only one step behind me at 144, and C (age 5) was just one step behind her at 89 beads.
At which point, although we weren't completely out of beads, we were running low on work space.
It's great to be a homeschooler.
What My Child is Reading at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns
Math Monday at Love2Learn2Day.