Drawing on Art and Math for Colorful Community Connections

By Nancy Meyer posted 03-25-2020 07:57

I am very excited to announce an update on this Project idea and Funding request from @Fiona Nichols, Coordinator of Mathematics Education, at Portsmouth Public Schools in Virginia.

ICYMI: Fiona and her colleague Endia Hatcher-Watkins wondered how the district’s students might use the online calculator Desmos to do a collaborative project.  They devised a plan for students to create coloring book pages utilizing math functions and formulas in Desmos, creating a project that integrated math and art for their students. Once students had designed the coloring book pages, each high school would design a mathematical process to select ten pages to be included in a coloring book. After printing, copies of the coloring books and Crayola crayons were to be included in an activity bag donated to a local women’s shelter, thus incorporating citizenship into the project.

See the Original Post here.

With funding for the project secured via a grant from the Virginia Council for Mathematics Supervision, the Portsmouth Public Schools coloring books are off and running. Students created their own designs or customized some pre-created designs. They drafted their design on graph paper first using paper/pencil methods. After their design was on paper, they began working with Desmos to create the page. Students had used Desmos earlier in the year and were comfortable with that portion of the activity. Throughout, teachers facilitated the process to assist students but left many portions up to the students to build leadership skills.

Students were excited to share why they chose the design they created, with each page including the math used as part of the design. Students really enjoyed the process, and the District plans on using some of the design as instructional tools for next year to show application of mathematics concepts.

The Women’s Center was extremely grateful for the student’s contributions. It’s always important to provide fun and educational ways for families to spend quality time together. The student’s efforts not only provided a rich and engaging learning opportunity but also supported community involvement and family engagement.

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