Notice and Wonder

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Brian Bushart
Curriculum Coordinator, Elementary Mathematics

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Spend a few moment looking at this picture, then answer the questions that follow.


What do you notice?

What do you wonder?
You may want to stop and look at the picture again. You might find yourself looking back at it several times as you notice things you didn’t see right away. That’s okay. Take your time.

  • I noticed the mirror is circular.
  • I noticed the outside frame is a 12-sided polygon.
  • I noticed there are 6 kites, 6 almost-triangles, and 12 actual triangle around the inside of the frame.
  • I noticed I can picture a hexagon if I focus on all the small connector segments around the inside of the frame.

Did you notice the same things I did? Did you notice things I didn’t see?

  • I wondered why anyone would buy this mirror because the mirror itself is so tiny.
  • I wondered where I would have space on a wall to hang this in my house so it wouldn’t seem too large or too small.
  • I wondered if every design with this 12-sided frame would end up with 6 shapes inside.
  • I wondered how the number of sides on the outside frame affects the symmetry of the interior design.

Two simple questions: What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Spend time with those questions and you can unlock creative thinking and mathematically powerful conversations with adults and children. Too often we can be in a rush to ask and answer questions, but the beauty of math is in the creativity, the thoughtfulness, and the wondering.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]