Echo Hills students weave looming into their mathematics coursework

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When Echo Hills student Ben Martin brought a hat he had made through crochet into school to show his classmates, it turned into a looming sensation and a classroom community service project that integrated mathematics and calculation of time.

Ben's interest in looming and crochet began last year when he wanted to make a hat for his baby sister. When he found the fit wasn't quite right upon its completion, he determined a child in need could benefit from receiving a new hat, and he donated it to Akron Children's Hospital.

"We have donated items like coloring books, crayons and things like that to Children's Hospital in the past," said Danielle Dresden, Ben's mother. "It was Ben's idea to make and donate the hats for the children."

Ben brought his hat to school to show his fellow classmates for show-and-tell, and the students wanted to learn how to loom as well. With the encouragement of his teacher, Mrs. Miller, Ben was able to teach the other fourth-graders how to make the hats.

Additionally, Mrs. Miller used the opportunity to incorporate mathematics into the project through measuring length and converting yards to inches in order to determine how much yarn was required.

The students also calculated how much time was necessary in order to complete the project. An added conclusion the students determined was that thinner yarn would require more time to make the hats compared to using a thicker textured yarn.

The students embarked on a goal of making 29 hats, which they donated for the Christmas holiday, and this spring they have set yet another goal to donate 35 additional hats before spring break. Students were inspired to purchase their own looms to make the hats and scarves, and the school's PTA also supported the purchase of the looms.

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