Been thinking a lot about paper from a material-science standpoint (the mind wanders when SAS runs slowly), specifically about using paper to teach kids about the physical properties of different shapes and how we test them.
I've kicked off an ongoing thread on the subject at my math teaching blog. The first (with the admittedly pretentious title, "Reseeing Paper") is an overview of paper as a way of exploring shape. The second ("Paper Towers") lays out the rules for some engineering projects/competitions suitable (almost without alteration) for classes ranging from fourth grade to freshman engineering (though one would like to think that the results for the freshmen would be a bit more sophisticated). The projects would also be suitable for science-based family activities. There is more of this to come (I haven't even started on corrugation).
Check it out and if you know of any teachers who are looking for new (and cheap) manipulatives, please send them the links. There are any number of potential lesson plans here.
p.s. Suggestions are always welcome.
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