• Alex Box

Hopeful Hexagons - a rich pattern block exploration

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

Hopeful Hexagons was the task that sparked a variety of investigations and fascinating discoveries during a Flipped Maths Teacher Circle back in July. There were a mix of primary and secondary teachers - a really great pool of people with diverse mathematical experiences and perspectives to share.

The task was launched via Facebook, Twitter and Email and we spent the following 8 days exploring and exchanging ideas and discoveries in this dedicated Flipgrid space. It was good to be able to connect through maths remotely and in our own time. My brain grew a lot that week!

Some of us tackled the problem using physical pattern blocks. Some with these virtual ones.

The framing of the task allowed us to tinker with the original questions before sparking our own. Some of the ideas we explored...

  • Is it possible to make hexagons with any number of pattern block pieces?

  • What's the maximum number of pattern block pieces in a hexagon of different sizes? What's the minimum?

  • How does a pattern I've noticed compare to others I've seen before?

  • What about...irregular hexagons?!

Roxanne's Self-Extension - Exploring Irregular Hexagons!

Being able to take it off in different directions made the work interesting to ourselves and each other. I remember thinking (again) - if this is what rich learning in maths feels like, then I want more of it.

To share this mathematical joy more widely, Maths Teacher Circles have put together this detailed lesson plan for Hopeful Hexagons. Happy exploring! :)


If you’re looking for more ways to engaging all students in maths,

consider connecting with the Maths Teacher Circle community at one of our online events.

Check out already scheduled dates and topics here.

To get the latest tasks, tools, tips and event news delivered straight to your inbox,

sign up to the Maths Teacher Circles community.

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