This week, the big kids are working on their geometric constructions, mathematical drawings achieved with the use of only a compass and an unmarked straight edge.

This is one of my favorite units to teach.  Mathematics in general is an incredibly beautiful discipline that explores patterns and the natural order of the universe.  While those ideas are often abstract when you’re memorizing your times tables or learning long division, they become quite concrete in geometry.

If you have a Type A kid who is into precision, he will eat this up.  Next week, I’m going to post some basic constructions, along with example projects my students have done.  In the meantime, get a good quality compass — one that uses a screw to hold the legs firmly in place — and let your child simply experiment with drawing arcs and circles.  Some kids may need practice drawing along a straight edge as well if they have not had much exposure before.

Also, you’re going to need a lot of paper…

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