When I was younger I loved hama beads, for those who haven’t used them they are little cylindrical beads which you arrange on a grid, when you are happy with your creation you iron over the beads and they bond together. When studying lines of symmetry what better way to test student understanding than by asking them to create their own pattern. I did this with my low ability year 7’s, I differentiated by letting them pick the number of lines of symmetry which they had in their pattern. I had also drawn lines of symmetry on some of the grids for the weakest students. They loved it and even stayed at break to make another one!
You can buy hama beads and the grids off ebay or amazon but most toy stores sell them too, for a class you only need a small amount but I would buy a medium pack so you don’t run out of any colours. If your class do this we would love to see their work, tweets us @laurareeshughes and @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.
I am currently making a scheme of work for next year and regularly read this blog. Some of the ideas are fantastic. I’m brave enough to use the ideas but only sometimes do I come up with something as creative. How do you find these ideas? Thanks for these great new, fun lessons. Dave Adamson
Thank you for your great feedback Dave. I am not sure where some of the ideas come from but often from working with someone that inspires you, like Laura, and its great to bounce ideas around. Or through twitter following other math teachers through #mathchat.
I LOVE this, I used to make these when I was little, probably where my love for patters began! Im going to buy some beads and have a go before the end of term!
Thanks for the idea.