Fractal Christmas Tree

Saturday, December 1, 2018
Welcome to December everyone!  I wanted to take you through an ongoing activity that my freshman math class is doing.  We are working on geometry up to the winter break since we have been hitting some pretty difficult algebra topics for my students.  One thing I always spend time on is fractals, mainly because they are fascinating.  We will spend a few days and move on.  This year, however, my very hard to please, high behavior students actually said they were enjoying the activities, so for my sanity's sake, were are extending this part of the unit!!

There are two websites that I want to highlight to help you with your fractal activities.  The first one has a lot of great information and some activities.  It is the Fractal Foundation and they focus on the integration of science, math, and art.  The other focuses more on the building of 3D fractals.  I have started a project in my class using this website to create a fractal Christmas tree.  Then we will talk about other shapes (using nets) for the ornaments, and create snowflakes (which they have been begging to do)!

We started on Friday building the Sierpinski tetrahedrons while watching a NOVA video about fractals.  Then whenever we have some free time, or someone finishes an activity early, they can make more and grow the tree.  By the time break rolls around, I am hoping for a decent sized tree.  If not we may just make a winter scene with a forest of Sierpinski trees.  The students will be learning about at least three types of fractals, classifying geometric shapes, symmetry, and even some basic mathematical reasoning (how many triangles are there, etc) so I find this a worthwhile activity.

Have you ever used fractals in the classroom?  What did your students think?  Check back for photos of how our project turns out!

1 comment:

  1. I would love to see some more math posters on TPT detailing steps for solving different types of math problems.


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