

Paper doll math for kids 

Mathematics of paper dolls http://educ.queensu.ca/~fmc/june2002/PaperDoll.htm I love when math makes an activity more satisfying. For example: With your child, make the paper doll chains as shown on the web site. Then enjoy  because math is what makes these chains so cool: Patterns: Figures alternate  for example, right arm up, left arm up, right arm up, left arm up. Reflections: Kids love that every other doll is a flipped copy of the one next to it. Technically, that's called a reflection, one of three kinds of geometry transformations kids study in elementary school  the other two being rotation (spinning a figure around a point) and translation (moving it to the side). Powers of two: Fold the paper twice  you get four figures. Fold the paper three times  you get eight figures. Fold four times  you get 16 figures. Every fold doubles the number of figures again. Multiplying fractions: Every time you fold, the dolls become half as wide. That's a visual illustration of what it means to multiply by a fraction, in this case (width) x 1/2. Or, if the first fold divides the paper in half, and the second fold divides it in quarters, that's like saying 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4. The next fold could be expressed 1/4 x 1/2 = 1/8, and sure enough the next fold divides the paper into eighths.


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