Degrees are another such man made measurment construct. We say things like circles have 360 degrees, or the corner of a square has a measure of 90 degrees. Alas, what is a degree and how does one get a feel for what it is?
|Making 90 degree corners is easy!|
The girls and I were stretching for our daily Martial Arts session when we stumbled into a nice way to express our degrees of an angle.
The floors inside our house are big square tiles. By having the girls do their stretching with their butts on the grout line crossing points, we could line our selves up along the edges of the square to put ourselves at 90 degrees!
As we sat stretching at 90 degrees, I asked my youngest what half of 90 would be and she said 45. I then asked my eldest to close her legs to half of what they were, and asked her what angle she was now making. "45 degrees dad" Perfect!!
|Show Offs! 180 degrees|
Making Angles and Degrees an Experience rather than a theoretical mental construct aligns perfectly with our Homeschool Charter (III.Philosophy.4). Having them be the legs of an angle was key. They got a feel for various angle measures, how to measure the angle between two lines, and how four 90 degree corners could build a square; plus they did their stretching to boot!
As we wrapped up our stretching, the youngest piped up, "You know dad, it's like the arms on a clock" Yup, sure is.