Saturday, February 23, 2013


We concluded our Shapes Unit by using simple shapes to form larger shapes (K.G.6). Our school recently purchased the Investigations Math series to use as a resource. It had two great lessons for this standard and we did both of them this week.
The first lesson was the 'Fill the Hexagon" game. In pairs the students used pattern blocks and a work mat to create hexagons using combinations of shapes. I used a spinner instead of dice. One student would spin and place that pattern block anywhere on the mat, but could not move it once it was placed.  They continued to play until they filled all 6 hexagons (they could use the yellow hexagon once).
The second lesson involved Geoblocks! They loved them!

First, I let them explore with the blocks (see why in the 5E model below), then we gathered in a group and passed a basket around so that each student could get a block. Each student told something about the block (number of sides, vertices, name of shape).

The student put their blocks into the middle of the circle and I used the blocks to model how to "match faces" which made smaller shapes become larger shapes. The students went back to their tables and "matched faces."

For this Geometry Unit I used the 5 E's model to plan my lessons (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate). By adding some time for students to explore (explore) the materials before beginning the lesson (explain) helped with student discussion as I explained the concepts. As an example, when we focused on the cone shape, I put a small cone and a small circle in a baggie and partners touched, experimented with, and discussed both shapes before we made an anchor chart about Cones (K.G.4.) After we analyzed the shape (explain), the students provided examples of real-world objects that are shaped like cones. To provide support, I had a powerpoint of pictures of cone-shaped items. The students were given play-doh to create the shape (elaborate) as I monitored (K.G.5). Students shared and explained their shapes during a "museum walk" (evaluate). This lesson framework really engaged the students and the discussions were full of details and descriptions because of the student exploration prior to the lesson.
We are moving on to Operations and Algebraic Thinking!

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