The Warlord’s Beads

15/11/2011

Grade 1-5 classes are learning about the abacus this week. The Warlord’s Beads by Virginia Walton Pilegard shows, in a realistically fictional way, how the first abacus could have been invented.

We then watched this very brief introduction about how to use a simple abacus. My family has spent the last week making a class set of simple abacuses from ice-cream sticks, bamboo skewers and beads and you can see how to make one of your own here.


Mobius Strips – a mathematical wonder!

28/11/2010

After having seen how much a million is, this past week we have looked at a mathematical dictionary called G is for Googol by David M. Shwartz.  We were reminded that a googol is a 1 with a hundred zeros after it and that a googolplex is a 1 with a googol zeros!  We still can’t comprehend that there is not a googol of anything anywhere in the universe (no, not even atoms, or parts of an atom!).

Then we turned to the M page and learned about Mobius strips.  We each had a turn at making them and cutting them into various shapes.  It is intriguing that you can make a one sided object from a strip of paper just by bending it.  We’re now making mobius strips all over school.  Here’s a video of how to do it for yourself: