Here’s how it works…
First, before I even explained anything to my kiddos, I made a sample of what the dodecahedron should look like. As soon as students walked into my room, they were drawn to the geometric figure and wanted to know if and when they got to make one.
After all of the kiddos were super intrigued, I handed them the tracking sheet and explained how the process worked…. they would take a quiz to show what they knew about their multiplication facts. As they mastered each set of facts, they earn one of the pages that would later become the side of their dodecahedron.
They also keep track of their progress on their self-tracking progress page. After mastering all 12, they get all of their pieces and they can put together their fun new geometric figure!
We have been keeping track of everything we do in our classroom this year in our portfolio binders
, and so instead of cutting each page after they earned it, we decided to keep all of them in our binders until the end. This ensured that all pages are there and no cut out pieces are lost!
Now, I wanted to take this opportunity to show you how to put a dodecahedron together. It’s actually really easy to do, but sometimes seeing it visually helps it make a bit more sense!!
As you can see, I opted to print all the pages on bright colorful paper. This was mainly so we didn’t have to take days to color all the pages, but ended up being more helpful as we were working through the pages. You will find pretty quickly, that students will work at their own pace through this project. Some kiddos will be on their 2’s, others on their 5’s etc….
I laid out all the quizzes with the appropriate mastery pages on a long table. Once I checked a student off, I could say, grab the yellow 11’s page and the 12’s quiz and it was easy for them to keep track of.
After you have accumulated all 12 of your pages/sides, cut them out neatly on the solid black line.
OH! Also, I printed them on vellum / card stock. Last year when I made the dodecahedron, I just used plain printer paper. I must say, the card stock is worth the investment for this project – not only did the actual project hold up better, it was easier to fold and connect all the pieces!
Next fold on the dotted lines. I actually find it easier to fold when the picture is face down. I fold away from the edge until I see the dotted line. Then I flip the side over and crease everything in the opposite direction so it looks like the picture below. I find this makes a great crease. I even have some of the kiddos who don’t crease very well use the handles of scissors to make the crease more defined. This step definitely makes attaching the sides of the dodecahedron an easier process.
Woooo…. that’s a lot of folding!
Now there are lots of ways to attach the sides but I find the easiest to be the “bowl” method. Start by placing one side in the middle and then place 5 pieces around the middle side so that they are each touching on of the folded flaps.
Then glue/staple. I used a stapler on mine and used 4 staples per side. I have my kiddos glue first, then go back and add a staple. I mainly do this because I don’t have enough staplers
Continuing attaching each of the outer “petals” to the middle side.
Do this until you have what looks like a very geometric flower.
I like to have my kiddos make both of their “flowers” first. This ensures they have all of their pieces and no side is being inserted in a weird spot to make a deformed dodecahedron
After you have a flower made, you can connect each of the outer petal to the tabs flanking either side. In the picture above, the yellow 11’s petal will attach to the clock “8” petal to it’s immediate left and to the robot “12” petal to it’s immediate right. Each petal connects to the flanking petals only once. As you start to connect the outer petals, you will notice that the flower is starting to turn inward and forming a bowl type shape.
Rinse and repeat so that you have 2 bowls. Then have one bowl sitting on the table, and invert the other bowl and place it on top so that each side aligns in the proper valley created. Now you can connect all the sides that are touching and VOILA you are done!
An alternate layout to the bowl method, or two just attempting to “work it out” on your own as you go, is to make a mega chain. This starts out similarly to the bowl method. First make your “flower” then add another level of petals. The key to this one is consistency. You can see that each of me level two petals attached to the top right side. I one were to attach to the top left then the sides would overlap and you would have a deformed dodecahedron. You will have one left over side. It will attach to the end of one of the level 2 petals, but on the opposite side – in this case top left of the 11’s side.
The biggest thing to keep in mind when assembling, it that no two sides attach in more than one place to each other. If the 11’s attach the 12’s they will not attach to each other again. Each side must touch FIVE DIFFERENT sides.
The best part about the dodecahedron project, at least for me, is that I can see who really struggles with their number sense and being able to group numbers in specific ways. This past week I have been able to see who needs to be paired up as partners for my weekly rotations based on what THEY need to learn from me when we have teacher time. I have some kiddos who struggled with their 1’s and 2’s facts, others that struggled with their 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s, and others who breezed through all 12. Now that I can see who needs what, I will be able to custom my weekly stations to meet their individual needs.
I hope you are intrigued by the idea of the dodecahedron project – if you like the idea, but aren’t necessarily in need of a multiplication project, you should check out Mr. Hughes store. He has TONS of fun dodecahedron projects
! Check them out! You are sure to find one that you would enjoy!