Posted in Art, Math, Passion Project

Fraction Quilt

Fractions can be a really awful experience for some students, so this could make the subject more interesting and more engaging.
I found this idea on Teachers Pay Teachers from Real Teachers Learn, if you’d like to see her version click here.  I didn’t purchase that resource, as I only used it for inspiration.
This activity does assume that there is already a base knowledge of fractions, but not much beyond that.


Step 1. Students colour a 10 x 10 block grid using whatever colours they choose.  You might want to specify a minimum number of colours.  These will turn out amazing regardless of how they choose to fill the grids out.

Fraction Quilt by ArtsyInquiringMinds / CC BY 2.0
The template in the above photo is found here.
Step 2. Count out the number of squares for each colour.  Depending on the grade you teach and the goals you have for the lesson, you may ask the students to state those fractions in lowest terms and as a decimal.

Colour Fractions by ArtsyInquiringMinds / CC BY 2.0
Step 3. Have each student calculate a set number of fraction addition equations, like the ones shown below.  You may also have them change it into decimal form.

Fraction Addition by ArtsyInquiringMinds / CC BY 2.0
Step 4. Since a whole class set of Fraction Quilts are really quite a sight, I would suggest you find some wall space for everyone to enjoy their handiwork.  If there is somewhere in the school hallway that would be even better, as it might just inspire someone else to look at fractions in a different way!


Hope you liked this idea!  Happy teaching!

Posted in Art, Math, Passion Project

Name Art

What’s in a name?   


(And there’s perimeter around it!)
When learning about perimeter and/or area of irregular shapes, here’s a fun lesson do that.

Using graph paper, instruct students to draw their names using only whole blocks.


Lowercase Laura by ArtsyInquringMinds / CC BY 2.0

Uppercase Laura by ArtsyInquringMinds / CC BY 2.0

It is important to only use whole blocks, so that calculating the perimeter is simple.  If you want to make it more complicated, you could allow diagonally cut squares – triangles! – and discuss the Pythagorean Theorem.

If you know the units of your graph paper, then it would be easy to use the proper units, but if not, students can simply use generic labels of “units” and “units squared” as I have done.

Lowercase Area and Perimeter by ArtsyInquringMinds / CC BY 2.0

Uppercase Area and Perimeter by ArtsyInquiringMinds / CC BY 2.0

This project allows students to create their own project.  They can colour in their letters however they choose – or you could tie it purposefully into an art lesson using an element of design such as texture or colour.  

I think it would make a great display on a hall or classroom bulletin board, as well!

You can find the blog that inspired this project here.

Happy Calculating!

Posted in Art, Math, Passion Project

Practicing Numbers and Learning the Four Seasons

You can incorporate math into artistic endeavours at any grade level!
This activity is appropriate for students who are learning their numbers, i.e. Preschool or Kindergarten kids.

Thumprint Leaves by ArtsyInquringMinds / CC BY 2.0

To get the template for this activity, check out Tina’s blog: Fun Handprint Art.
While I only used this template for the activity of counting the leaves while I made them, Tina has a few games that can you can use with the template to make it interesting, if you want to switch it up a little.
If we instill a love for numeracy at a young age, we will be setting up our students well for their futures.  As an adult, there is no way to get through even a single day without using math, so a strong numeracy foundation is super important.

Posted in Art, Math, Passion Project

Geometry Stars

I can remember learning geometry units in school on multiple occasions, and while I LOVED them, others dreaded them.

This activity was really fun to do, especially for me, since I’m quite visual.  Of course, creating the star and then colouring it was the best part, but taking the time to label the simpler one is how I (pretending to be the student) show my learning.

Here’s the link to the activity that inspired these pictures.

You could easily include other math learning goals to this activity.  

Off the top of my head, I can think of:

  • Measuring the line segments
  • Calculate the perimeter of your star
  • Label the different kinds of triangles within your star
  • Compare values (such as perimeter or longest line segment) with a partner

On top of those options, as far as increasing the amount of art in this lesson, you could:

  • Fill the final star with different patterns or textures
  • Talk about primary, secondary, tertiary colours as a way of colouring in the final star – or even complementary or monochromatic colour schemes
  • Talk about warm or cool colours as a way of colouring in the final star

Simple Geometry Star by ArtsyInquiringMinds / CC BY 2.0

Colourful Geometry Star by ArtsyInquiringMinds / CC BY 2.0

By having each student complete two stars, you able to assess their understanding from the first one, and adjust your lessons accordingly, while they move on to the one that they have freedom to decorate as they choose.

The completed coloured stars would make a really interesting display as a class set and perhaps could be used as the beginning or end to a space unit.

The possibilities are endless!

Posted in Art, Lesson Plan Ideas, Math, Passion Project

Pi Skyline

A City of Pi by ArtsyInquiringMinds / CC BY 2.0

This is the first project for my technology passion project.
You might be wondering how it fits into a course about technology . . . And I’m happy to clear that up for you.  You see, technology is everything.  Recently, we’ve come to think of technology as computers and other electronics, but even something as basic as a felt pen or a pencil crayon is a piece of technology.  It was invented to solve a problem, just like our cell phones we are attached to!

I start all my projects by exploring Pinterest for ideas.  This one is no different.  I came across a blog detailing how to celebrate PI DAY (3/14 – March 14th) with a math based activity.
Here’s a link to the original post – you’ll find the instructions there – Erica did a fantastic job, check it out!

This activity could really be used any day of the year if your class is working on a topic such as bar graphs or circles.  Also, this could make a fantastic home project, so if you’ve got kids at home who are working on those topics I highly recommend giving it a try.
I really love the versatility of this project.

Here are a few ways it could be completed:

  • Colour the bar graph a different colour – or even multiple colours!
  • Create the background with felts or pencil crayons.
  • Use the background to do a study on perspective – two lessons in one project!
  • Do a collage for the background for an abstract look.

Can you think of any other ways to personalize this project?