Robin Crotwell’s students created Christmas ornaments. Crotwell connected geometry to the ornaments because students used various shapes to create ornaments that resembled 3-dimentional geometric figures. The other connection to math was the symmetry in certain shapes as well as other geometric shape behaviors. The five different shapes were icosahedron, octahedron, tetrahedron, hexahedron, and dodecahedron.
Each student chose at least one difficult shape. These were harder to create because of their multiple facets. The second ornament could be simpler. Once they chose their shapes, they colored them and then incorporated their name into the shape. They cut out their shapes, careful to avoid cutting off the tabs they’d use to connect the shapes to each other. They assembled the ornaments and turned them in for a grade. Crotwell decorated a tree in her classroom with the students’ ornaments.
"My students learned about 3 dimensional shapes by making Christmas ornaments. Later, we can use these shapes to derive area and volume formulas. It was a fun activity and more meaningful than just seeing the shapes in a book," said Crotwell.