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Ms. G. from New York NY is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Art & Math Presentations Need Manipulatives

My students need 5 sets of pattern block stamps, 2 sets of multi-color ink pads, and 2 sets of polygon pattern blocks/

  • $249 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

They come into my class right after lunch, which for some of my students is a hard decision to make. Since we have no cafeteria, our students are allowed to go outside, into the city for lunch. But because our school serves a population of students who have found their previous high school(s) unresponsive to their needs, my students need a reason to want to come back. Our transfer students have a difficult choice; and for an on-looker, asking them to return after lunch to a math class seems like we are giving them good reason not to come back. However, we try to combat our students feelings, offering deep and rich curriculum that hooks them into the subject. This class, titled "The Art of Geometry" is one such class. We've studied and made our own perspective drawings, tessellations and tilings, and compass-and-straightedge constructions to see the world of Mathematics that lies beneath each of these topics.

In our Tessellation and Tiling Unit, students worked in groups and then individually on a project to create an original tiling. One of the essential questions was "How does an artist know that all the pieces of her tiling will fit?" Cutting-and-pasting polygons to make one tiling is time consuming on the wrong end of the activity. Yes I want my students to spend time on the task and get conversation started, but not because they have to spend two class periods cutting out enough shapes! In addition, this method wasn't precise. One cut that is off can lead to an entire tiling that overlaps or leaves gaps, completely ruining the product. At the end of June, my students will each present their work in the form of a Performance Based Assessment Task, or PBAT. In this presentation, they will need to demonstrate to a panel why certain shapes and combinations of those shapes will or will not create a tiling, and provide mathematical evidence. Using small pieces of cut-out paper is not only unimpressive, but leaves too many "what-ifs" that could ruin the presentation. "What if I lose shapes to the wind as I carry them into the room? What if my nervous, shaking hands prevent me from lining up the edges?"

What my students need are sets of plastic color-coordinated polygon pattern blocks, pattern block stamps, and stamp pads. Just a few sets of each is enough for students to manipulate the shapes individually, practice in class in groups called "round tables" before the PBAT, and be prepared with enough materials even if multiple presentations are going on at the same time. The successful completion of this PBAT fulfills the same function as the state-mandated Math Regents test. Scoring well on this PBAT is the equivalent of passing the Math A or Algebra Regents exam, which is required in New York for graduation. Without these materials, students will have to use materials of substandard quality while at the same time trying to reach the high expectation we have of completing their PBAT. And this is in order to graduate! Having the stamps and ink pads will allow them to quickly create a design in front of the panel, and maybe even re-vamp their current projects before we send them off with their written papers to the evaluators for review. The pattern blocks can be used not only for this presentation but on the overhead in front of the whole class. Plus, all of these materials can be used again.

You will make it possible for my students to impress their evaluators with quality visuals of their Artistic and Mathematical ideas. You will allow my students the hands-on activity that many of them never received in the over-crowded and traditional "teach to the test" atmospheres of their previous math classes and schools. You will make it possible for my students to graduate by doing something more than taking a standardized test. They will have written papers, then presented their findings and finally defended their ideas to a live audience of qualified persons. This instead of quietly sitting in a row of unfamiliar faces, filling out a scan-tron sheet. You will make the work of our school to respond to our urban youth with an education that asks them to use their minds well, just a bit easier. And you will show them that Math class is worth coming back after lunch for.

Ms. G.
Grades 9-12
More than half of students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 25 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Power Polygons? r Stamps . 'N %h 'N * * 8 } * 75705-1240868892 i . $ | . | |\ .\ . . . w . • Nasco $25.95 2 $51.90
Pattern Block Rubber Stamps • Nasco $10.95 5 $54.75
Washable Stamp Pads Set of 8 • Nasco $29.75 2 $59.50

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