Math and the Kaleidoscope

Teacher shows a new way to look at math...…
Thru the Kaleidoscope.
If education and kaleidoscopes spark your creativity, see the survey below to share your
ideas on how to teach practical lessons and enrich appreciation of science and beauty.
About the grant
A grant proposal written by an elementary school teacher has been selected among 25 in the nation for funding through the Toy-ota Time Grants for Teachers pro-gram. The grant proposal entitled "Looking at Math Through Kaléido-scope Lenses" was the work of third grade teacher Nancy Leonard and sixth grade. teacher Dinah Fuller. The proposal was picked as one of 25 winners from among 160 applications.
The $10,000 grant will be used for a new and unique program that teaches basic math skills, including fractions and geometry; physical science, and life skills to students in grades three and six. The culminat-ing activity will be the construction of a mathematically sound, fully-functioning kaleidoscope by each student, according to Leonard, who will be the grant director. She'll be assisted in the program by Fuller, who will join her at a four-day Brewster Society kaleidoscope con-vention in San Diego, Cal. later this year
"It will be more than just teacher' growth because, there will be scientists and artists, all kinds of people at the convention, so we will be immersed in a kind of environment that wouldn't have been able to be in without the money behind it," she said. Leonard pointed out that based On the grant's timeline the program will run through the 2001-2002 school year. At the end of the year, the completed kaleidoscopes will be made avaiable for a public display and the pro-gram will be evaluated by community members, engineers, artists and. vol-unteers to determine the program's impact.

The ambitious project will cover a wide range of lessons that will, explore the vocabulary and proper-ties of geometric shapes, reflecting symmetry, properties of 1ight, examine how the eye works, how materials react when exposed to force,. sculp-ture, design, the history of glass and history of kaleidoscopes, just to mention a few. The students will work extensively on computers and on the Internet with the aid of a laptop com-puter that will be pur-chased with the grant funds. The laptop will be available on a rotating basis for the students to use ,from their homes to supplement their class-room learning experience. In addition, Leonard said distance learning. links with other classes and guest speakers will be a major part of the project. She has arranged for a learning link-UP with cozy Baker, regarded as the nation's foremost author-ity on kaleidoscopes for winter of 2002. She added, "The point of the grant is also to 'encourage teachers to do things that are interesting and once you develop a track record and have a pilot they hopefully the school board will pick-up the expense.

The program will fill an educational void by using interdisciplinary, hands-on, interactive activities. Connecting science, math, art and social studies will signal to students that these things are connected in life. Working on a project over the course of a year will allow support from other students, foster teamwork, improve communication skills and provide time to develop personal/social skills."

Leonard noted that aside from the obvious educational applications, the project, she believes, will help improve student self-esteem."It improves the kid's self-esteem because they have built sometbing nice that they get to take home to me, that's a bonus," Leonard said. She continued, "The topic of kaleidoscope will help students see how the world works, where tech-nology can take you, that resource materials contain stories rich in information and history, and allow the teachers to address every learn-ing modality. There will be a chance for students who learn auditorily, visually or kinesthetically to shine." Leonard confessed the training trip to San Diego will be valuable with sessions and classes conducted with seasoned artists and craftspeo-pie from all over the world. There will be classes on topics like dicho-rism in minerals, mirror configura-tion, optics, and polarization of light.

This is a copy of the letter that went to the leading Kaleidoscope artists and leaders in the kaleidoscope world.

We are hoping to gradually build a program that has national corporate funding for taking Kaleidoscope training to teachers and the love of kaleidoscopes to children of all ages! This is going to be very dependent on the support of people like you.

We are working on developing quality lesson plans and finding sources of supplies and kits. A few people are working in classrooms and we will use those experiences to write up programs for kids at different ages. There will be a presentation at the San Diego Brewster Conference letting people know how we are doing and how far we have gotten. We want you to be aware of what we are doing and we wonder if you can help. Some of you will not be able to help in all areas, but we hope that you can help us in some way.

Please see the attached survey. I am working on a plan to present lessons and set up a booth at conventions designed for teachers. I will try to attend 3-5 in the next year or so. If you have suggestions or ideas please contact me by mail. I am particularly interested in finding sources of materials or kits that can be bought on consignment (at least at first). We have no way to predict sales for these conventions YET but we will develop a track record and data on sales.
EDUCATORS UPDATE About the coming convention.

EDUCATOR in this context refers to ALL of the people who are interested in educating ANYONE about the joys of kaleidoscope making or ownership.

It seems like a LONG time since the convention in Davenport but doesn't it also seem that there has been little time to get things done! Now it is time to start planning for our next convention.

I have requested two times for educators at the convention. An hour and a half to two hours for us to share what we have been doing and where we hope to go from here. Another hour toward the end of the convention so that we will have a time and place to meet to touch base with certain people and to collaborate before we go home (How late do you stay?). Do you want anything presented or anounced for the convention at large? Do we need more time? Let me know so the schedule can include us!

We spoke about including activities for children at the convention. What do you suggest and how do you want to do it? I'll bet we are the ones to make it happen. Let me know if you know anyone who might have materials to donate (even art supplies). A simple activity would be to allow children to draw or paint kaleidoscopic images (or anything else they want for that matter). I need everyone to get back with me about this because I need to know where to start. Do we want classes that kids pay to sign up for and make a take-home item or do we want to provide a play station where parents can drop their kids off for SHORT periods of time? Do we want to do BOTH? We could provide supervision during the public hours only or MORE. Give me ideas and info in as much detail as possible. I will try to connect people who are interested in the same thing.

What do you want to have included in the convention and what are your needs? We won't get what we want unless we know what that is!!

Everyone please try to let me know, at least briefly, what YOU have been doing to promote kaleidoscopes. This will help me predict what we need to do as far as reporting and scheduling.

I have written to the list of artists that Cozy sent to me. I asked who was interested in working with us and in what way. I will have that organized for you at the convention. We may have to do a little recruiting at the convention to get artists attention. Anyone willing to do that? What is it we want them to do to help us?

I have taken advantage of the experience of Diane and Kathy and applied to the Toyota TIME grant for $10,000 in funding (over two years) for Kaleidoscope education for the students in my school. Remember they described their grant to us at Davenport. If I get this grant, I will be going to the National Math Convention in April. Wish me LUCK! (THANKS Diane and Kathy!!) I WILL have opportunities to support kaleidoscopes there and it should be GREAT fun!!

I just returned from being a presenter at a statewide Science convention (H. A. S. T. I.) in Indianapolis and I will be applying to be on the program next year. I am beginning to make preparations to set up a program for presenting workshops and setting up a booth (to familiarize people with the Brewster Society and sell lesson plans, components, and kit materials) at 3- 5 conventions within the next year or so. I am looking for ideas on lessons, materials, and kits. Let me know if you can help! I hope to do the H. A. S. T. I. Convention, the National Science Convention, and the National Math Convention. This could be the beginning of our fund raising effort. Any other ideas about raising money?

I continue to teach kaleidoscopes and related topics with my class, at WonderLab (our local Science Museum), and with Girl Scouts. I hope you ALL are doing the same and have interesting stories to tell at the convention.

I hope to hear from some of you soon and as I do I will relay NEWS to all the people on my mailing list. I look forward to seeing you All at the convention.
Survey of Interest

Feel free to cut and paste this survey into and Email and mail it to the link below. Or you may call Nancy directly. 812.825.5944 (CST)

Which of the following are you able to do?:

How can kaleidoscopes be involve in practical lessons?

Can you provide educational information?

Do you know of supplies or sell supplies that could used in kits,etc.

Do you have ideas about fundraising?

Could you help with fundraising in some way?

Would you be interested in working with
teachers in your area?

Provide materials____________________

Artist in residence ____________________



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