Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blue Tape Math

What is Blue Tape Math?  

Simply put, it is having your students use blue masking tape to represent math on the wall, floor desk or windows.  

Why use Blue Tape in Math?

MATH:  Students are using ratios, scale models, fractions, decimals and graphs ALL THE TIME.  Blue masking tape also 'slows' the math down a little bit so all can jump in and be engaged.
MOVEMENT:  Students are moving while learning which helps our kinesthetic learners.
MEASURING:  Students are using rulers, protractors, tape measures.
AND NO MESS with painters masking tape.  It comes right off of walls, glass, desks and floors.

Math Skills

Scale Models
Measuring an angle
Measuring a side length
Fractions (While measuring distances)

Where can students create their shapes?

Walls, Windows, Floors or on the Desks.

Ideas for when to use blue tape

Create a figure with a specified area.
Create a regular hexagon or pentagon.
Create parallel lines, or parallel lines by using a traversal
Create a parabola from a quadratic function.
Create a kite.
Create a triangle with Blue Tape.  Find the area of this triangle in multiple ways.
Create a shape (triangle, quadrilateral, etc. ) .  Create a different shape with the same area or perimeter.
Create a circle using blue tape.  Now guess how many diameters will be needed to make the circle?  Test your guess by creating diameters to go all the way around the circle.
Quadratic expressions and equations.  Click to get to the activity we did in class.

This project students created their own non-right triangle and then found the area of it using 3 different formulas.  #precalculus 

This group had a "random triangle that turned out to be an equilateral triangle.  They called the PERFECT triangle.  They were proud.

In this project students are making shapes to understand quadratics. This was in Algebra 1.  A colleague @rachelfruin and I wrote this  if you are interested, here is the progression.   

Try Blue Tape Math with your colleagues in the office.  We did.  It was a great experience.  @rachelfruin  @smiller229 and @mthor_  all have been working on blue tape math together.  The best way to describe what happens when you are using blue tape to get at a solution is that the process is 'slowed down'.  It helps everyone collaborate together at the same pace.  Try it in your office, and then try it in your classroom.  

Take the Blue Tape Math Challenge 

Find one or two colleagues that are up for an adventure, and create a regular pentagon with only a ruler, protractor, and some blue masking tape.  You can create the regular pentagon on the floor, desk or wall.  At the end of your creation reflect on the things you needed to accomplish the task.  Then discuss how you might use blue tape math in your class.  If you have time, let us know what you think @rachelfruin  @smiller229 and @mthor_ @dsladkey

A Word of Caution.  

Your lesson is going to take a lot longer.  This was something that was frustrating at first, but I realized that sometimes when a problem takes longer, the students understand it more thoroughly.   Another word of caution is that I always measure the figure on the INSIDE.  It has much crisper lines.  Also, I have my students use 1/4  inch blue tape.  See below.