Friday, January 6, 2012

I had some extra cookie dough to use up, and an excellent, math themed, picture book, biography to read with the children, that was just begging for a story time snack.

With the Fibonacci's sequence, and the golden rectangle in mind, I started dividing the dough into thirds (sort of estimating the proportions of the rectangles).

I placed two thirds of the dough into a bowl, and then divided the final third into thirds again. I placed two thirds of that dough into a second bowl, and divided the final third into thirds again, continuing that way, until I had the dough divided into six portions.

I cut the smallest piece into 12, 1x1 squares (using 1/2 cm as my unit of 1), and placed two squares side by side on the cookie sheet, for each of the six cookies a half batch of dough will make (click here for the recipe).

I mixed food coloring into the rest of the dough, a different color for each bowl, and a couple of teaspoons of baker's cocoa into the largest lump of dough...

...and then continued dividing them out into squares following the Fibonacci sequence. So, the second square was 2x2 (keeping in mind that my unit of 1 was 1/2 cm, making the sides of the square 1 cm).

Then, onto a 3x3 unit square...

...and so on, and so on, forming a golden rectangle. Or rather, trying to form a golden rectangle, because I was so busy worrying about cutting the dough into the right sized squares, while still keeping them all the same thickness, and making sure I had enough dough in each bowl for all six cookies, that I didn't even notice until after the cookies were baked, that I had reversed the position of the 1s and 2s.

Not to worry though, a quick slice with a butter knife while they were hot, a dab of frosting after they cooled, and everything was right again...

...and ready for the older children to pipe melted chocolate chip, across the corners of the squares...

...to form golden spirals, an image found throughout John O'Brien's illustrations.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Ticia said...

That is way too cool. I've always thought Fibonacci is cool.

Brimful Curiosities said...

Blows my mind away...both Fibonacci's sequence and your creative representation of a golden rectangle. Actually, now that I think of it, the golden rectangle sounds exactly like a yummy snack name. Maybe you should consider selling them.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Wow, how cool is that. I am thinking of formally starting a small "math club" with Anna and her best friend. Fibonacci was one of the things that I thought would be interesting to teach eventually.

danielle @ RLR said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

...danielle

Phyllis said...

So much fun! Do your kids ever get tired of sugar cookies? Mine could never eat as many as you make. :)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Phyllis - Do they get tired of the cookies? Hmmm...not yet. But then, I usually make small batches, so they only have one or two each at a given time. And, their father is always willing to dispose of any leftovers for them :)

Unknown said...

Oh-my-word! Impressed, as usual... :0)

Perdin.Dirigente said...

Beautiful! Do you know this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kkGeOWYOFoA

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Palmy - Yes, that they did a great job with that one. It's a lot of fun to watch.

Christy Killoran said...

I don't think I have ever heard of Fibonacci. Your cookies are always amazing!

Stephanie said...

You are SO cool! :-) Love the cookies.

momma Skyla said...

We're doing this today at out Fibonacci party! Thanks for the SWEET idea!

Anonymous said...

I always thought "Fibonacci Cookies" sounded great... until I googled it and stumpled upon this. Now I think they are awesome!