You may have noticed that we’ve been a wee bit obsessed with pentominoes lately. A pentomino is a set of 12 figures, each made of five congruent (same size,, same shape) squares. Using at least three, you then try to make a rectangle by fitting them together.We became hooked on them after reading Chasing Vermeer and were introduced to three-dimensional pentominoes after reading the sequel, The Wright Three.
First day with the pentominoes
We bought out pentominoes in a class pack from Amazon, which gave us enough for everyone plus some to share. Each child has a tray to keep his or her work on, which makes clean up easy. 4 x 12 = a lot of pentomino pieces. I love that everyone could pick out their own colors as well.
Nicholas’s first 8 piecer!
We made our own 3D pentominoes, although in retrospect it might have been worth it to purchase a set, if for no other reason than the fact that the wooden blocks we bought aren’t all perfectly congruent.
Katie Grace solved the first pentomino puzzle!
So far, we’ve mostly been focusing on making rectangles. They’re an amazing math/geometry/spacial reasoning tool. I hope to eventually add is tessellations and some other geometry concepts like perimeter and area and maybe even volume with the 3D set. The 3D pentominoes should also lead nicely into a study of architecture.
Daniel’s first rectangle– a three piecer!
Play online pentominoes on Scholastic’s website
Eric Harshbarger’s Pentomino Page
Break the Pentomino Code
Make your own flat pentomino set
Have you used pentominoes as part of your home learning?
Making 3D pentominoes together