I LOVE math. Now don’t hate on me…There are lots of math lovers turned quilters in this world. I find it so exciting when math from my past coincides with a quilting project! Let me share the most recent story.
Last week, my daughter, Ms. Ramrath, invited me into her classroom at a local high school to help with a math/quilting project. I love a very varied schedule, so of course I jumped at the opportunity. She was teaching polynomials. She asked if I remembered how to identify them and solve them. It is truly amazing to me that after 35+ years since my college graduation, I do remember all this simple algebra. I LOVED learning it and now I love adapting it to quilting.
Ms. Ramrath taught the class to recognize a polynominal. She talked about two methods for solving them; FOIL and BOX. F.O.I.L. stands for First, Outside, Inside and Last. Here’s an example:
(x + y) ( x + y)
multiply the first parts of each binomial (x* x)= x ²
multiply the outside parts of each binomial (x * y)=xy
multiply the inside parts of each binomial (y* x)= xy
multiply the last parts of each binomial (y * y) = y²
x² + 2xy + y²
Solving the same polynomial using the box method and three papers or fabrics would look like this:
The first day I joined the class they were learning about binomials and polynomials.
The second day each student chose 2 binomials and cut paper representing (x), (y) and (xy). They drew lines on a 8″ square based on their binomials. Each student chose a value for x and a value for y. The examples below are the same expression with different x and y values:
x=5 and y=2
x=2 and y=5
The third day I returned to class with all of their polynomials solved using the BOX method in fabric.
They had a gallery walk and tried to write down the two binomials multiplied together to result in each quilted block. It was really fun to watch the students apply what they learned the previous two days. Although some of the expressions were similar, each student picked different values for x and y. SEW MUCH FUN!
Now I will transform these blocks into a pillow for each student. VOILA!
Who knows, maybe someday a student will dream of equations while at the beach; listening to the wind; as an astronaut in space. Let’s give the students something new to dream about! Math is FUN!
If you volunteer to do a similar exercise with your local high school, let me know. I can see a whole unit of quilted math expressions or lots of mini units to drive home a math concept with a physical quilted item.
Do you remember my post on making a radiant star out of 60 diamond English paper piecing pieces for my daughter’s geometry class last year? That was noT so much fun in the making, but I love to see it in her classroom. I made it with Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
Here’s an update on My New Years new habits; taking my new vitamins regularly and egoscue exercising. I went back to my over 55 vitamins because all my nails were breaking due to less b vitamins in the isotonix vitamins. I started taking a probiotic every morning too.
As far as my Egoscue exercises, I haven’t missed but a day or two since January 1st. My exercise routine changes every 2-3 weeks. I do feel my left shoulder rising and getting stronger. I fell on the ice last year and knocked it out of shape. I am also working on more flexibility in my hips. More dancing and egoscue exercises are helping with that. I do feel better. I will continue to do these exercises because they are realigning my spine. There will be less compensation made by nerves and muscles as a result of aligning my spine. A strong core will help with everything from balance to strength.
I hope your New Year habits are going well. Feel free to tweak the goals as needed. Don’t get off track. We are all here to support one another in having a colorful and healthy life!
Calculate some quilting into your schedule today!
p.s. It was fun to catch up with some quilters from MA at the Fabric Extravaganza in Nashua, NH last week!