You Oughta Know - Pattern Blocks

Last month I participated in this AMAZING blog hop with my friend Jasmine and it was great!  So many of you commented and liked my post about the iPad app Morfo.  This month I will be sharing another technology project my firsties LOVE!  This one connects math, technology and art!  Even better - the kiddos end up with a FUN end-of-year gift!

We teach symmetry at the end of our unit on shapes.  After spending a few days on this concept we challenge students to build symmetrical designs with pattern blocks.  I tell students that they can use up to 20 blocks and I warn them about using the skinny rhombuses - You will see why in a bit.  

Once I have checked their designs, I give students pattern block stickers that I bought on Amazon and they use these to record their designs.  I have asked students to use a template and trace and color - and they can, but the stickers are much less time consuming!

Now comes the fun part!  I take the students down to our library where the computers live and as a whole class I introduce them to this applet:  
It's basically a website - I'm not totally sure why its called an applet! 

Using this easy to use page, students can make the same design that is on their papers on the computer!  Here is where those rules come in - the design needs to fit on the screen, so it cannot be too big and for some reasons the skinny rhombuses do not move in all angles, so kids who use those shapes need to be FLEXIBLE!  Again, once it is checked by me, I will take a screen shot of the design and save it to the computer!

Once I send myself all of the designs, I get to putting them into a Word Document.  I use Word Art to write "Symmetry Project 2014" and their names - Then I flip the words!  I then insert the child's image.  It looks like this.  
Finally, I print these onto iron on paper and iron them onto T-shirts!  I WISH I knew I was going to write this post at the end of the year because I don't have any final product pics, but suffice it to say the kiddos LOVED them!  

Keep on hopping and read about some other AMAZING things that you NEED to know about!  And join us again next month for more great ideas to start off your school year!


  1. What a fun project! I love the pattern block sticker!

    The Math Maniac

  2. This is such a great project. I love the app idea, too. I am passing this idea on to my co-workers. Thanks!

    Renee at The Science School Yard

  3. What a great project Abbey! Thanks so much for sharing! Pinning now.
    Emmy Mac's Class

  4. Very cute! Kids will love this project, and the t-shirt idea can work with lots of projects.
    Crockett's Classroom . . . Forever in Third Grade

  5. Such a fun idea! Thank you for sharing!

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain