Symmetry in Action: Numicon

Symmetry in Action: let’s bring out my favourite resource ‘numicon’. Just when I thought I had got everything I possibly could out of this resource, it surprises me again.

Building on my success with Lego Symmetry, I was keen to let my children loose with another of our favourite resources. I had admired lots of beautiful photos on pinterest using numicon for symmetry, but thought that they were perhaps style over substance. Why use a counting resource for symmetry?

I love being wrong.

Numicon is perfect for symmetry because it gives exactly the right level of challenge. It is easy to pick up 2 of the same piece so you have 1 for each side of the line of symmetry. It is a bit harder, but not too hard, to correctly position these symmetrically on either side of a base board. Anchor a rubber band round the middle of the board and you’re ready to go!

Some children were making basic ‘numicon stripe’ symmetrical pictures with the numicon pieces in the correct order on each side. Others were creating intricate images with the pieces rotated different ways or positioned across the line of symmetry. For the odd numbers, the children had to ‘flip’ the pieces over to make the image symmetrical, which some of the children didn’t think to do. This activity really challenged the children’s understanding and revealed misconceptions and gaps in their knowledge.

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