Origami is one of those things that I think I would love to spend more time exploring but rarely do. I have used the Origami Player with my students (it works really well as an App within Chrome), which gives excellent visual instructions on making things. The timings have been well thought out and it gives a little timer prompt so you know how long you have got to do that fold before looking up at the screen for the next one. It’s been an end of term, easy lesson. Nothing wrong with that.
The first session on the nRich Teacher Inspiration Day last week where we looked at some of the activities here got me thinking about how I could make it a slightly more meaningful learning experience.
Still not highly mathematical, but at least it gets students working together and struggling with something. To build resilience in our students they need see the struggle as a positive and not something to be avoided at all costs. It was a bit of a metaphor for all learning. A discussion that can be had with students when reflecting on this task might be along the lines of:
- Did you need help from someone at some point? (yes, good)
- Did you help someone else at some point? (yes, good)
- Did you struggle at some point? (yes, good)
- Did you give up? (hopefully no, good)
- Did you achieve something you didn’t think you could do before?
This type of discussion can be a powerful motivator and more useful than vague questions like “Did you enjoy it?” or “Did you have fun?”
There are lots of Origami ideas on this page of nRich’s new Wild Maths site. I really like the idea of modular Origami, i.e. each person makes a module and then they come together to create something beautiful. I have an end-of-term cross curricular session with Year 8 to plan. My Origami paper arrived this morning. You can use A4 paper and fold down the corner to make a square, but proper origami paper is really lovely and this pack was only £8 for 500 sheets. It looks great so time to start practising!
I will post an update on this as planning progresses and share some pictures of the final event. In the meantime, if anyone has an ideas for how to make Origami more mathematical (without spoiling the enjoyment of it!) then let me know.