Sunday, May 18, 2014

Baby Quinn's Quilt

A few months ago my mom requested a quilt for a baby boy. The quilt is done, the baby is born, and I am finally getting around to posting a few photos! I'll share the best photo first...
Welcome to this beautiful world, Quinn William! His mom, Heather, says he is lovin' his quilt!
The special part about this quilt, besides who it was for, is that my mom and I planned it out together. I would snap photos of fabrics that caught my eye at the quilt shops, text them to my mom and we would discuss our ideas. Video chatting is super helpful because it allows her to give me feedback and it's easy for her to see the fabric on my design wall.  I have to stop and appreciate that technology allows us to share these experiences. Of course, you can't touch the fabric when you video chat. It's like watching the food channel; the dish looks so delicious but you can't taste it! When mom received the quilt in the mail, I think her exact words were, "Oh, it's so beautiful and soft in person!"
The backside is a cozy minky fabric. Although you have to pin the quilt sandwich twice as much (at least from my experience that helps keep the fabric from shifting), I think it is a perfect choice for a sweet little baby!
I quilted soft wavy lines on my home machine and chose fabric with green and white stripes for the binding.

Can't wait for the next baby quilt! Who's having a baby?!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Power of Ten Quilt

I am convinced that right now is the BEST time to be a math educator!

I don't know if you have noticed, but the subject of teaching mathematics is certainly in the spotlight as our state and national standards have changed. This makes me incredibly happy because it is the perfect opportunity for everyone to learn more about quality math instruction. Teaching math is different than what we might remember from our experiences learning it. Teaching math is also different from being "good" at the subject. And, if you think you are "bad" at it...I have life changing news for you: There is no such thing as a "math gene" and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

My power of ten quilt is a display of my continued learning about the base-ten system of numeration. It showcases the fascinating powers of ten and is a visual representation that helps build conceptual understanding.  In my perfect world, every elementary student would have the opportunity to create their own base-ten "quilt" to understand the relationship between a digit and its position in a number before using a place value chart or base-ten blocks. Often times students don't really understand what those models represent. When students create the base-ten model for themselves, they are also creating their own understanding of what is actually happening with the power of ten in regards to whole numbers and decimal numbers.
Another reason I love this model is because you can actually see the magnitude of the numbers. The square-strip-square-strip pattern will infinitely repeat. Wow.
A college math professor enlightened me when she spoke of changing the world with the powers of ten. She believed strongly that if she could influence 10 teachers to teach math differently, those 10 teachers would each influence 10 teachers and the circle of influence would become exponential. I'm one of those educators that she changed. It all begins with one so never underestimate the powers of ten you have inside you. 
I free-motion quilted each block of one hundred. Quilting 1,000 hundred blocks in this way was certainly a test of patience! 

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, sibling, administrator, or teacher you probably will come across a situation in your life where you will have the opportunity to teach a child mathematics. In fact, your influence could encourage or discourage the love of math to that young mind.

If you are interested in learning more about the topic of teaching mathematics, check out this online course by Jo Boaler from Stanford University called How to Learn Math: For Teachers and Parents. The instructor is also hosting a free webinar on May 6th.

Let's all do our part to go beyond "place naming" and travel deeper into the beauty of actually understanding of the value of numbers-both in our lives and in our math instruction!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP: Spring Break Edition!

I'm trying to use every precious minute of spring break to check some things off my to-do list!

So far,  my "Power of Ten" quilt is quilted!

Tonight, I will begin to sew the binding while watching Wheel of Fortune and Netflix with Henry. Then, I can cross this off my AMQG WOW list!

Remember this "Grass Garden Maze" I created with the awesome grass fabric that Angela and Gina from Bunny's Designs sent me? I'm going to resume progress on this and create some pillows for my couch. Let the "spring puking" commence! ; -)

These were my purchases from the Austin Shop Hop. I made a dress from the top left and I'm going to use some of the others for my spring pillows. (Notice I needed to buy more grass? I'm addicted!)

Lastly, I finished the Laurel dress yesterday! I choose to keep in simple and make it sleeveless. I love it! 

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! :) 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

MQG Riley Blake Challenge Quilt: Rectangle Floor Plan

I've completed my Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Challenge quilt and I'm calling it the...

Rectangle Floor Plan *

When I began sketching my design for this project, I honestly wasn't thinking about anything having to do with math education. (Mom, are you laughing? Stop. I really do think about other things besides math.) Actually, I tried to incorporate some of Heather Grant's modern quilt ingredients from the Austin Guidelines. In particular, I focused on negative space and grid work but I'm not confident that the final product reads those things. Having to actually commit to an ingredient really increased the dopamine activity in my brain. This caused me to have lots of questions and I realize that I have much more to keep learning about. : )

Nevertheless, my math passion found its way into this quilt. I've been learning quite a bit about using open tasks in the math classroom, and think that this quilt could spark some great discussion. A question/task is open when a variety of responses are possible. 

Here are some open questions I thought about:
1. Write a number sentence using one or more of the polygons in this quilt.
2. The answer is 5, what could be the question? or equation?
3. What could be a fraction to represent one or more of the rectangles? 
Don't forget to ask, "How do you know?" Always ask for justification!

If you are a educator, parent, math lover or learner, give these questions a try with friends! Of course, it's got to be with friends so you can appreciate and learn from the variety of responses.

On a side note, I also could have been channeling myself as an 8 year old girl. I would have loved this quilt on the floor when I was playing with my Barbies and Trolls. Henry thought it was a robotic bunny. See how open this quilt is! ; )

I'll leave you with a few photos of the back and the quilting (which was all quadrilaterals until one irregular hexagon snuck in there). If you follow me on Instagram (@bettinadanger) I posted a photo of that crazy polygon!

Finished quilt size is 51inches by 51 inches.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful Sunday! : ) Try out an open question and tell me if it was any good!