Monday, May 5, 2014

Tangram Fun

Thinking skills. Geometric concepts. Reasoning. 
Tangrams offer multiple dimensions to learning fun.

I remember one of my very first convention experiences. The hall was packed with aisle after aisle of hands-on learning materials. Tangrams. Counting bears. Balance scales. Letter tiles. Microscopes. Snap cubes. Pattern blocks.

Tangrams were one of our first purchases. We've loved learning with them for over 20 years.

Today, the internet makes it possible to print tangrams on colored card stock at lunch, cut apart the basic shapes, and enjoy geometric thinking and problem solving during afternoon free time. Fast. Fun.

Each basic tangram set (sometimes called the Chinese tangram puzzle) includes 7 pieces: 5 isosceles right triangles, 1 square, and 1 parallelogram. The area of the large triangle is twice the area of the medium triangle, and the area of the medium triangle is twice the area of the small triangle. The angles of the shapes are either 45, 90 or 135 degrees. Pieces are used to create objects, from cats to boatsSolutions are endless, encouraging and cultivating thinking and problem solving.

Over the span of 20 years (many of those without the internet, sigh!) we have used many resources; many remain available:

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