Tessellation Sign-In Quilt

# Tessellation Sign-In Quilt

Kids love it when it’s all about them. So I thought it would be fun to have them be the ones to sign in at my recent Family Math Night event. But just not any sign-in. A tessellation quilt sign-in.

As families entered the event, students signed their name on a large pattern block of their choosing which I had cut out of poster board. Then they glued it to our ever growing tessellation quilt. Here’s what it looked like during the event:

Tessellations

A tessellation is a shape or shapes that fit together without overlapping or leaving any gaps. Typically the patterns in a tessellation repeat, however, for our purposes, I was simply interested in having students fit their shape on the “quilt”.

I decided to use pattern block shapes for the quilt since a lot of students were already familiar with pattern blocks.

Making the Shapes

Everything started with the hexagon template which I created using a simple graphics program. I fit the largest hexagon I could on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet.

From there I created a second hexagon template which I used to cut out the templates for the triangle, parallelogram and trapezoid.

Using the matching color poster board, I first traced the hexagon template to cover the available space. I then went back in and traced the corresponding color shape template. See photos.

I was tracing the triangle template when I realized it would be easier and faster to simply use the parallelogram to make the triangles.

The Quilt

Next I needed to make the “quilt” that students would glue their shapes onto. Using about 12′ of white bulletin board paper, I traced the hexagon shape across the entire sheet. If you look closely, you can make out the lines in the photo.

Then I started the quilt by pre-populating it with hexagons. I thought this would be a good way to guide students as they placed their shape onto the quilt.

Because not many students or parents know what a tessellation is, I included the definition at the top of the quilt. Although you can’t read the words, you can see it in the photo to the left.

Note: When you hang your quilt you’ll need to make sure to use a lot of push pins or tape. As the quilt fills up with shapes it becomes heavy and will fall off the wall if not properly secured.

Thought Questions

Besides exposing families to shapes and tessellations, it was important for me to weave in some math thinking. So I came up with some thought questions and hung them near the quilt.

Because everything we do at Family Math Night is organized into three levels – Beginning (K/1), Intermediate (2/3), and Advanced (4/5), I used those levels to create the questions.

What I would do next time is include a small table next to the questions with actual pattern blocks in case students needed them to help solve the problems.

Tessellation Quilt in Action

This turned out to be a super fun activity. Kids loved writing their own name and seeing it up on the quilt. It was a huge hit. Even the principal got involved!

The finished tessellation quilt would look amazing in the front office and remind families how much fun they had…or encourage families who did not participate to make sure they come to the next event!

I have a lot of other fun sign-in sheets. Check them outÂ here.

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