## 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

and

Math Monday at Love2Learn2Day.

Phyllis said...

Oh, how I love this! What fun for a winter afternoon!

Unknown said...

Those are BEAUTIFUL! Our God is such an artistic designer...and this lesson illustrates this wonderfully!

Leah Courtney said...

Very cool!

Lorie said...

Looks like so much fun!

Unknown said...

Great work! We explored the Fibonacci sequence also. My kids stll point out the numbers whenever they see it. Right now we are doing a Fibonacci sequence number line to see how far high we can get too. Thanks for sharing this wonderful activity

Joyful Learner said...

Love love love this!!!

Ticia said...

YOu know I kept looking at this last night and thinking it looked so cool, and meaning to comment. Apparently I never actually sat down and did that..........

I'm just trying to imagine my kids having the patience to string on that many beads. It turned out so beautiful.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I am definitely adding this post to my Pinterest - thanks for joining WMCIR!

Christy Killoran said...

So very cool!

Cindy said...

Beautiful!

Stephanie said...

Awesome -- and very timely. I had the idea of making the Fibonacci spiral with pony beads today, but couldn't quite figure out how to pull it off. Thanks!