I'm Bon Crowder and the photos above are both of me - in 1989 and today. I'm a Generation X mom of Generation Z kids.

I began peer tutoring in high school in 1984. MathFour.com is the 2015 version of me helping peers be comfortable in math.

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Category Archives: Patterns

Zentangle – Meditation, Art, Math!

My cousin-in-law recently introduced me to this cool “doodling” method called Zentangle.

I’ve been doing it quite a bit – especially since it’s far more socially acceptable to draw than check twitter during meetings.


Zen… WHAT?

Zentangle. Zen TANGLE.

So it’s Zen-ish (meditative, calm, relaxing), using tangles (like doodles, but more intricate and structured).

Each tangle is a design using circles, line segments, curves and/or shading. You repeat the tangle into a pattern, adding variety in size, shape or orientation to make some really cool drawings.

Here are two of my favorites:

Fun Zentangle by Bon Crowder - Bontangle 004

Fun Zentangle by Bon Crowder - Bontangle 005

Oh, and they’re done only in black and white. And only on tiny little 3.5 inch square cards.

Totally sounds like doodling rules gone crazy right? But I probably suck at the explanation. Maybe we can get a CZT (kinda like The Doodle Police, but nicer) to give a better explanation in the comments. #winkwinknudgenudge

Focused Mathy Zentangles

As I was scouring the internet for more tangle ideas, I came across the word “monotangle.”

Like a monomial (one termed polynomial), it’s a zentangle drawing with only one tangle design. The design chosen is the only one used, although it might be varied in different ways across the piece.

The examples above might be called “polytangles.” At least if you let a math girl in charge of creating the vocabulary.

And here’s a monotangle by super tangler Ilse Lukken at Zentangle Zoo. Each piece is a square with one or more corners designed like a 90° protractor:

Beautiful monotangle by Ilse Lukken at Zentangle Zoo.

Zentangle Challenge

I wanted to try it and there was a “Zentangle Challenge” (exciting, right!?) over at another Zentangle blog, Made by Joey. So I went for it.

I decided to do the tangle in the nifty Fibonacci squares layout. Since it was “F” week, it worked perfectly.

Here is my Fibonacci Florez Monotangle:

Fibonacci Florez Zentangle by Bon Crowder - Bontangle 005

Looks fun, huh?

You try!

Yes – give it a shot. You can do the redneck version with some paper and a pen. Or you can go crazy and spend $20 down at the art store. I got a book, two pens and some “artist tiles”:

You can use it to relax, play a little bit with math or even keep your students busy.

Regardless of what you do, be sure to share it in the comments, on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest!

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Calming generation X in math since 1985.

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