## Math Mystery Mini Booklet

Can YOU solve this math mystery?

Today we are demonstrating a fun activity that uses our technique for folded mini booklets, and will help get kids excited about math! Challenge each student to write their own math mystery, then mix them up and challenge their peers to solve the mysteries.

Age: 5+

Duration: 15 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Explore math facts and get to know students. Exercise fine motor, folding and scissor skills.

You’ll Need:

Once your booklet is folded, each student will need 6 strips of white paper. Fold each strip in half. Then glue one folded strip to each page, so you have a “lift the flap” book.

Now it’s time to create your math mystery! Students will need to have five math facts about themselves. The answer to these questions can be things like age, shoe size, number of pets and number of family members.

The first pages of our booklet challenge students to discover the author’s age and number of pets.

The next pages ask about the number of people in the author’s family and the author’s shoe size.

The last pages have a math fact and the reveal page!

These books aren’t just a great way to practice math and introduce students to each other. It’s an excellent activity for parent nights!

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## Tessellations Mosaics

Inspired by Pattern Blocks, we’ve created 6 shapes that can be used to make wonderful tessellation patterns. Shapes are: equilateral triangle, rhombus, trapezoid, hexagon, square and small rhombus. Each shape is carefully crafted to match the sides and angles of the other shapes allowing your students to use the shapes to create seamless tessellations or to design animals, people, vehicles, structures and patterns!

Unlike Pattern Blocks, which have specific colors for specific shapes, our tessellations mosaics come in a range of 12 bright, glossy, double-sided colors. Your students can make patterns with similar colors or challenge themselves by creating patterns in different colors. Get students acquainted with the different shapes and talk about their characteristics by giving each group a bowlful of the Tessellations Mosaics. Ask students to sort the mosaics only according to color. They must choose one color and find all the shapes in that color. Note: Make sure to point out that the mosaics are double-sided!
Once all the shapes are found, ask students to describe each shape to you.

What do the shapes look like? For instance, some children may say the trapezoid reminds them of a roof. Once your students get a chance to share their opinions on the shapes, discuss the characteristics of the shapes. We’ve included a short description of each of
the shapes later on in this guide. Now comes the fun part—putting the Tessellations Mosaics together! Pull out the provided pattern sheets and photocopy each set. Keep the
original sheets safe for future use. There are 2 patterns on each sheet. Print as many sheets as required for your class. You can provide the entire sheet with both patterns to students or cut the sheets and hand out one pattern each.

Fill in the puzzles with the shapes shown in the outlines. Before students fill in their patterns with the mosaics, encourage them to experiment with colors. For their first pattern, students can make the shapes match all in one color. Once they get comfortable with arranging the Tessellations Mosaics onto the pattern sheet, they
can switch out different colors for the same shapes. For instance, instead of filling a pattern sheet with Tessellations Mosaics all in red, students can switch out some of the red shapes for the same shapes in blue.

Make new patterns with these color arrangements! After all the students have arranged and glued down their mosaics, compare the patterns to see how different color combinations change how the patterns look. These patterns are intended to teach students how to put the mosaics together. They are meant as a guide to understand how the edges and angles of the shapes can be matched. Some of the patterns can be replicated to make regular tessellations. These patterns can be tiled together to make even larger and more impressive patterns. Ask children to cut their patterns and arrange one big tessellation on a bulletin board.

To add more value to your Tessellations Mosaics pack, go online to download our amazing patterns featuring kaleidoscope-like designs and fun animals! Click on the ‘Artwork’ link to access the resources in printable PDFs. You can access the artwork directly here. Fill in the designs with the Tessellations Mosaics! Draw thematic backgrounds, such as an ocean, the plains or a jungle onto the animal puzzle cards!

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## Color Diffusing Animal Shapes

Use the magic of Color Diffusing Paper to make lovely animal designs from basic shapes! View our tutorial and see how our art campers adapted their designs.

Age: 4+

Duration: Drying time + 10 minutes

Learning Objectives: Use fine motor skills to squeeze paint out of pipettes onto paper. Develop beautiful arrangements of colors and observe how colors blend together to create new colors. Exercise scissor skills through cutting basic shapes. Learn geometric shape concepts and arrange shapes together to make animal designs. Encourage critical thinking and puzzle solving through shape layering. Combine math, science and art into one unified project.

You’ll Need:

• Watercolor paint

• Scissors

• Glue

• Card paper sheet

It is important for students to not only exercise their fine motor development, but to understand the processes behind color mixing, diffusion and artistic composition. This is a great exercise in learning composition as students get to use the shapes they have on hand to create interesting designs!

Lay sheets of Color Diffusing Paper onto paint trays. Draw basic shapes on the sheets of paper using permanent markers, rulers and other measurement tools. In the photos above, we’ve drawn basic shapes such as squares, triangles circles, half moon shapes and more!

Next, our careful art campers took pipettes and dropped various paint colors onto the diffusion sheets.

They loved seeing how the colors spread throughout the paper! This is the process of diffusion, where paint molecules spread through the paper molecules to fill in the spaces where there are no paint molecules.

Here, one of the campers has mixed multiple colors together.

This camper was careful to paint directly over the shape illustrations, but as the paint molecules diffused through the paper, the paint spread throughout the entire sheet!

Here’s another look!

It’s a great process that children can see unfolding right before their eyes!

To give the paint a hand, we sprayed the paper with some water to help push the paint molecules around. Notice how the permanent marker ink doesn’t blend with the rest of the paint, however!

Another art camper was busy working away at her own diffusing paint canvas.

How cool is that?!

We left the paint to dry in the sun, which made the process happen a lot quicker!

The campers then cut up the various pieces following the outlines on the paper.

They are careful to follow the lines and reaffirm their knowledge of each shape. For instance, it’s easy to tell that this particular shape the art camper is cutting is a square. But how would you describe the candy-cane like shape?

While students are cutting, it’s a good idea to ask them what the various shapes can be used to make. Help them visualize their final designs as they are cutting the shapes out.

Now let’s piece it all together! Here, one of the art campers has started to create the body and the head of an animal.

Using white glue and goo spreaders (read more about these awesome glue tools here!), the art campers pasted their pieces onto a large sheet of card paper.

Can you guess what kind of animal this art camper is making?

A cute piggy!

Here’s another variation of our adorable piglets! This art camper even drew a smiley face!