A Post A Day #5 Black Magic

The end is approaching way too quickly!  My students only have two full days left before the district mandated days of final exams on Monday and Tuesday.  Today the plan was to create flexahexagons, and if time allowed we were going to make origami cubes.  It turns out that time did not allow for the cubes like the ones in this video.

We began our activity by watching this Video, and then we colored these Patterns as per our individual likings.  We then reviewed these Directions and began the process of folding our flexes as directed.  I utilized my document camera and demonstrated the folds and then worked one on one with individuals when it became apparent that frustration levels were rising to an unproductive level.  By the end of each class period every student had created a successful flexagon, and I managed to keep from pulling every strand of hair out of my head.  This activity was one that we had been looking forward to for a while now.  We had tried the activity earlier in the year, but wound up ditching it because student’s frustration level was not productive and tears have no place in a math classroom!   Today many students still experienced high frustration levels and struggled, but there were no tears, no giving up and all were successful.  I was made keenly aware of several students who seem to have some serious spatial awareness challenges.  I am already thinking toward next school year and lessons or instructional routines that I can incorporate into our investigations to help students develop this ability.  I will also ask our Occupational Therapist about age appropriate activities to utilize in my classes.

The best moments of my day happened in last hour.  As students finished up their projects and flexed them for the first time you could hear loud gasps and excited voices exclaiming how cool their flexes were.  My very favorite was when one giddy young lady proclaimed with excitement and awe in her voice, “Mrs. Naegele knows black magic!”  I kind of like the idea of having magical powers and am blessed that I can still bring the wow factor even to the most skeptical middle schooler!  Oh my goodness, I LOVE these kids!  I don’t know how I am going to get through summer without them!


Update:  When my 20 year old daughter, who is home from college, came home from work tonight I showed her my flex.  She wanted to make one so I showed her how.  When she flexed her creation for the first time she declared that I am magic and wanted to know how I got it!  It’s a slam dunk day when you can impress your students AND your grown daughter!


4 thoughts on “A Post A Day #5 Black Magic

  1. That is so true, this is such a powerful piece in this blog, so many great things happening! I love it. I’m curious if how this will look like for you is next year and if you will have many of the same students? Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s epic! Look at this growing, processing, and collaborating for next year, and reflecting on it all before the end of the year…this blogging thing may be beneficial….I am wondering if there are any things you’re thinking of that you might be able to get some reps in before the end of the year…so you might know how to improve it before next year even starts


        1. Well, for the next two days we are watching October Sky and will talk about the Growth Mindset the characters show and compare and contrast this story to the story of Hidden Figures. We will talk about social justice, STEM and life connections. Then on Monday we are reviewing for our final that happens on Tuesday. Then my kiddos are finished with school and I will only have 3 days left! I think my time is up on this year.


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