Slide-Together Spheres

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These are hanging above my desk right now, and they make me so so so happy.

I use slide-togethers like this as a puzzle for my students, often in a problem-solving class that I teach.

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But all but one of these I made myself… They’re just fun!

You can find printable templates for these here. Both this site and the original creator of the puzzle leave the instructions intentionally vague, so I won’t get too specific either – you really do have to just puzzle it out!

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A few tips:

  • Start (or have your students start) with the hexagon construction. It doesn’t have any tricky corners, and is more stable than the triangles. All the others have three-way corners, which take some getting used to – better to practice constructing a ball shape first. After the hexagons, I suggest trying the squares.
  • Print these on cardstock. They can be made out of paper, but don’t hold together as well – plus, they tend to rip. If you use paper, you might need to use a bit of tape too. On cardstock, they support themselves pretty well.
  • Look closely at the pictures of constructed spheres! I have my students count how many pieces join together at a corner, how many edges surround a hole, and look at what shapes are formed before they even start – focusing on one element makes it easier to see how it goes together.

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Published by

Annie

Millennial math teacher with a crafting problem. I've never met a new skill that I didn't want to learn - everything from cactus cakes to paper flowers, dying yarn to sewing dresses, churning butter to making shoes. (Still working on that last one). My adventures are sometimes successful, often wacky, and always challenging. Stick around for step-by-steps, helpful resources, book reviews and exciting narration, suitable for beginners and experts alike.

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