Implementation of “Symmetry in Mathematics” (SOl-GR-378)

Author: Ioanna Syngouni, kindergarden teacher

School/Organization: 1st Kindergarten of Messologhi ,Greece

This story of implementation has been developed as part of the Europeana implementation of Ivo Zikic “Symmetry in mathematics” and it is an interesting session dealing with symmetry on butterflies and involving practical thinking and problem solving skills. This implementation at the same time emphasizes the creation of symmetrical shapes and the finding of the line of symmetry cultivating critical thinking, creativity. The implementation can be used in class as in distance learning. Also the individual activities involve different cognitive domains such as language, mathematics, art and informatics.

Widening students; knowledge about symmetry

Then, briefly describe the context of your online or offline implementation, specifying what subject(s) you chose to implement the learning scenario in (in case you are a teacher), what was the age range of participants, the size of the group of participants, participants´ previous familiarity with arts and science digital heritage etc. (maximum 200 words).

As a kindergarten teacher from Greece I found this story very interesting and close to the interests of little students. Teaching symmetry in small children, we introduce a new vocabulary, cultivating  creative and critical thinking. This implementation is appropriate for the cognitive level of young students, it has playful character, new technology and promotes self acting as it combines elements from their daily routine.This Learning scenario was implemented in class at a kindergarten with 21 students aged 4 to 6 years old including students with special needs. Students   didn’t   have any experience using the Europeana platform again. This story of implementation  relied on the story of Ivo Žikić  , in which I made a few modifications so as to be more understandable   in small students  as I applied some activities of my own.

Add headings and subheadings when needed to organize your text and highlight the main aspects of your story.

What did you do? Describe how you used the selected learning scenario in your educational activity. For example, what was the structure of the session(s); Did you make any adaptations to the resource? How much time would you suggest for the different parts of the activity?

If you decided to implement a learning scenario together with other colleagues, please also describe how you worked together with them to carry out the activity. (maximum 300 words).

Detection of children’s Knowledge

At circle time, a game with pattern blocks has been presented to students. I placed a  line of symmetry on the carpet and at  one side I placed a pattern that was adjusted on the line of symmetry and asked to make the pattern from the other side. This procedure has been repeated a lot of times and each time I asked to mention their observations.

Teaching activity

 I talk to them about a famous artist, Leonardo Da Vinci, who has created a sketch of the human body and we talk about its findings. They stretched their hands and observed that they are as symmetrical as the rest of their body .I talked to them for the definition of the symmetry and watched a video about the subject. After the video we will discuss its meaning again, exchanging personal opinions   and visiting our yard to find out symmetries in nature.

Teaching activity “The very Hungry caterpillar”

Moreover, I asked children to tell me if they knew what  a caterpillar is. I present to them  a fairy tale from the known writer Eric Carle “ The very hungry caterpillar”. After the hearing of the tale, to activate even more their thought, I used the projector and I saw images from Europeana asking them to observe, to describe what they see to analyze the patterns they saw.

Collaborate and Create

After the discussion, we give students an axle with a symmetrical line,4 circles,4 triangles and 4 squares and ask them to make their own butterflies by deciding how they will decorate their butterflies ,by using the designs they have seen in Europeana photos.

Team presentations.

Then, describe the main learning outcomes you achieved with the implementation of the learning scenario. Tell your reader about anything that supports your case for achieving these learning outcomes. For example, participants’ comments, or any other evidence that illustrates the benefits and impact of using this learning scenario. What advice would you give to other educators planning to implement the same learning scenario?

When all activities are completed, we see all the images on the padlet and remember the video with the help of the teacher. We configure if with their expression can justify critical when something either a photo or an object is symmetrical.

I believe that the students would really enjoy this implementation since it involves a lot of hands- on activities, giving them the chance to be creative and evaluate objects in a critical way. Moreover, in this implementation   students take part and not just hear the teacher.

To my  European colleagues I would recommend  adjusting  Europeana in their teaching resources. Symmetry is a fascinating subject for young students, especially if it is adjusted in a playful way. We give time to students and we let them “fly” with their imagination and their creativity and we archieve  wonderful results!!

Teacher’s remarks.

What did you, as an  educator, get out of Teaching with Europeana resources? What would you say to other educators thinking about using arts and science digital heritage in their activities? How did the usage of Europeana resources go? What should educators and participants watch out for in order to make effective use of these resources? Did you find any other Europeana resources that can be used when implementing this particular learning scenario?

If you implemented the learning scenario together with other colleagues, please also describe your experience in collaborating with them. What was different from conducting more traditional educational activities?

Symmetry is a Fascinating topic for early childhood education especially when it is presented in a fun, interesting and interactive way. The use of different kinds of methods as gamification, project-based learning and cooperative learning leads their knowledge to a different level. It also enhances their observation skills and gives them space to be creative.

For someone to search material at Europeana, requires familiarization, flexibility, patience and knowledge on the material that can be used, examine the creative commons that have been given under the material.

The material I used was understandable to young children and could respond to it .Moreover it has given me the reason to deal with it in the future so that I can enrich my teaching methods by using such resources.

Mrs Antoniadi K. my colleague in special needs, in my class, worked with me in this scenario helping some of the students find the material very interesting and moreover learned about Europeana.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Symmetry in Mathematics (EN-CUR-208) created by Ivo Žikić

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Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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