Friday, May 2, 2008

The Cotter Tens Fractal




Huh? That's my first reaction when I saw this project in Elizabeth's math curriculum. It's easier if done with a group, but we had a group of two (well, four if you count the other two kids, but they were more of a hindrance than a help, I must say). Anyway, since I had no clue what this was about, I figure you may have very little clue also.

"Fractals are a new branch of mathematics only a few decades old..... The Tens Fractal, a regular fractal starts with ten small equilateral triangles arranged in the pattern of a larger equilateral triangle, the ten triangle. Ten of these ten triangles arranged in the same pattern forms the hundred triangle. And ten of the hundred triangles in the same pattern forms the thousand triangle, the Cotter Tens Fractal.

One purpose of building this fractal is to help the children visualize and experience the repeating tens structure of our number system. Another purpose is integrating mathematics and art."

Yes, there are a thousand little green triangles in there, and yes, we cut them all out. The Fractal is 6 feet tall.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is so cool! I am very behind on my math lessons, but hope I get to do this someday.

Heidi

Erin said...

AAAhhh! Just what I was looking for! Thank you for posting about this mysterious Cotter Tens Fractal! I'm planning for next year and got to Lesson 38 in RightStart and said, "Huh? What?" I googled it and came up with your blog. Thanks for the visual! You've inspired me not to skip it all together!
Love the blog world!

Anonymous said...
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Dana said...

We just started Right Start Math and I googled the fractual just to see what I could find. This is AWESOME!!! Not sure we're ready to do the whole thing, but I'm now inspired!

Great job!

Blessings--
Dana

Hailey said...

I, too, googled the tens fractal to see if there was ANY other way to teach this besides as instructed in RS Lesson 38. Thanks so much for posting your experiences. You've inspired me to at least make an attempt to do this lesson!

Anonymous said...

I echo everyone's sentiments... A million THANK YOU's for taking the time to upload a picture & post of your experience! :-)

Anonymous said...

I join the chorus of thank yous! Now if we only had room for it on a wall somewhere :)

phillipsgirl said...

I'm so glad it was helpful to you all! We've gone through it again and will do it a third time next year, Lord willing. This last time my husband made up the Tens Triangle on the computer, put four on a page, and then we printed them off and only had to cut out 100 of those instead of all the little triangles. Much easier! The post about this one is at: http://gorefamilynews.blogspot.com/2011/05/jonathan-cotter-tens-fractal.html

Lori said...

We are just getting to this project in our RightStart curriculum. I tried to talk the kids out of doing it, because there are only two of us. No such luck! They want to do it all. Oy vey! LOL

Lanaya said...

Good luck! It's kind of a neat feat of accomplishment.