We began by creating squares in the hall with masking tape, naming the directions on the squares and establishing a common language about them.
Next we started the four-beat patterns with simple "copying" of each other's feet positions and moves, where the same shape and movement is simply translated from one square to the next:
We devised our own notations for recording these on paper.
In the second session we revisited our first moves, then we looked at mirror reflection and tried to incorporate this into our four-step patterns.
The idea and inspiration for this activity came from Malke Rosenfield's brilliant "Math in Your Feet" program, though it should be said that ours is a very rough approximation of what is a much more developed and professional program. That said, there were a number of things that were really impressive about what the class did:
- Their total concentration;
- Their amazing and precise cooperation in pairs;
- Their energy;
- Their ability to devise notation to record positions and moves;
- Their use of mathematical vocabulary to describe their patterns.