Sphinx & Algebra 1
Donna Dubey
Winnisquam Regional High School
New Hampshire, USA
When I started, I expected to use it for a couple of days then thought kids would loose interest. Well I was wrong!
For the Algebra 1 we used the Sphinx to segue into tessellations, patterns, reasoning and logic  it helped to visually reinforce concepts.


I started out using this only for my Algebra 1 students as a 'fillin' project before a vacation. Thought it would keep them busy in the transition, wasn't enough time to start a new topic and vacation was fast approaching. When I started, I expected to use it for a couple of days then thought kids would loose interest. Well I was wrong!
We started mounting the work on the blackboard and my other classes wanted to have fun too. My lowest levels were transfixed that they could build it, and began to think of how many pieces are required to make the next level. If you can see on the blackboard pictures it has the mathematical count of the number for each Sphinx. For the Algebra 1 we used the Sphinx to segue into tessellations, patterns, reasoning and logic  it helped to visually reinforce concepts.
After vacation we came back and began with the new chapter but the kids kept pushing to build a really huge Sphinx. So I would give them sheets at the end of the period or over the weekend  assuming teenagers would loose interest quickly. Thought they only wanted to do it to get out of math class. But everyday someone would come in with more pieces built.
Would hate to imagine how much tape is used to hold it together. One student wanted others to see the pattern so he created the red lines onto the Sphinx  helped with my visual kids to identify that they were still four pieces building on the next size.
The one in the hallway hung until the end of the year, then we had renovations and all I have are pictures; am thinking of recreating it again.
Every year we build Skirpinski's triangle out of envelopes and the goal is to build one taller than me (which isn't hard since I'm only 4' 11").
I love using building tools in the classroom, so many of our students are just not interested in math for them math required worksheets and nothing more. The Tasks & Maths300 are a great way for kids to get involved because they can come in at any level and explore math in different views. My upper level kids were working on deriving the 'formula' for the Sphinx while my lower level never realized they tackled the same job. To them, they just wanted to figure out how many pieces would be needed for the next one. They worked it out through trial/error and computations.
