We’re having fun with shapes! In kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2, we have been exploring, sorting, and comparing 2-D shapes using a variety of tools. Here’s what we’ve been up to for the last couple of weeks.
In some classes, we started off on a shape scavenger hunt to see which shapes we could identify in our learning space. Students were excited to identify different shapes in the room and magazines. Many were impressed by how many items they could find that were shapes that they knew the names of. The face of our clock is a circle. The lego bins in our class have faces made out of rectangles. The books on our shelves and our SmartBoard also have rectangular faces. We identified a lot of rectangles in our space.
After identifying shapes that we could easily name or identify, we started talking about composite shapes. The tangram is a Chinese puzzle made from a square cut into seven pieces: two large triangles, one medium-sized triangle, two small triangles, one square, and one parallelogram. After discussing the properties of these shapes and congruence, the students were really amazed by how these 7 shapes could be put together to make a square. Many tried to flip and turn the shapes to return them to the original square and realized that it was a little tricky. After having some time to play with the tangram, students had the chance to try and see what they could create other than a square. They were then introduced to tangram puzzles and their minds were blown. After having the chance to physically manipulate the shapes, we took our skills online. Exploring Mathigon’s Tangram Builder, students had the chance to see how they could piece together the shapes to compose pictures and designs using these 2-D shapes.
We have also been exploring what we can make using geoboards. Using the Math Learning Center’s Geoboards, students were given a few challenges and rose to the occasion. Here are just a few of the challenges we explored:
- Using your geoboard, make a shape that satisfies a rule (i.e., four sides; all equal sides; greater than 4 sides). What’s the name of your shape?
- Using the geoboard make the letters in your name. What shapes did you use?
- Create a picture using 3 different shapes. Describe your picture and the shapes you used.
- Make triangles of different sizes. Describe the differences between your triangles.
We’re having a blast exploring shapes. This has also been a great reminder for me as to the importance of having manipulatives that students can move around and use as well as incorporating technology. We’ve explored with both and while some have really enjoyed using the online tools, there have been some who automatically gravitate to the physical tools in our space. Either way, we’re learning and having fun in the process.