Over the past few weeks, the students have had a variety of fun experiences to build their understanding of geometry concepts. Before I share what we actually did, here is some background information to better understand why we teach Geometry.
Here is a quote that I think explains why Geometry is important to teach.
“Geometry encompasses two major components. One is reasoning about shape. We learn, for example, that triangles must have three straight sides and three angles, but the angles may be narrow or wide, and the triangles may be tall or short, red or blue, or tilted in any number of ways. The second component is thinking about space. We learn how objects relate to one another and to us in space: the ball is on top of the sofa, the sofa is under the ball, and we are in front of both. https://prek-math-te.stanford.edu/spatial-relations/what-children-know-and-need-learn-about-shape-and-space
Geometry is essential for helping children understand spatial relationships. This is detailed in the report “Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity,” co-edited by Taniesha A. Woods, Ph.D. Spatial relationships are important even for young children, because it helps them understand their place in the world. It teaches them to determine how large a room is, how far away a desk is, or which way to move. Geometry allows students to connect mapping objects in the classroom to real-world contexts regarding direction and place. Understanding of spatial relationships is also considered important in the role of problem-solving and higher-order thinking skills. Kindergarten specialist Edward Schroeter emphasizes the importance of stocking a classroom with objects and ideas that can reinforce spatial learning.
What we did
Students worked through a variety of activities to practice sorting shapes by size and by their attributes. We used a variety of materials including blocks, mosaic tiles and attribute blocks. Some questions I asked to help them to sort the shapes included;
As a class, we discussed how we had made our decisions. We counted how many were in each hoop, so we could practise our counting at the same time as learning about shapes.
Will says, I am fast at sorting shapes. I told Hupa that one was not a triangle because one side was curved.
The game I spy helped the students focus on the shapes around them and the number of sides the shapes have. For example, I spy a shape with four sides. I spy a shape with three sides. Asking students questions about what they notice about the shapes they found and which ones they found more of, helps them to build an understanding that shapes are all around us and used in a variety of ways in our everyday lives.
William says, I can find shapes in our classroom.
Using the feelie bag is a real favourite with the students. Students reach into feelie bags to see if they can work out the shape by touch alone. This helps students to visualize and describe the shape's attributes without seeing them. Once this activity has been practised a few times as a whole class, students can play it with a small group or with a buddy. It also encourages students to be specific when describing the shape. For example, I can feel four sides. They are the same length. It is a square.
Victoria says, I like to see if they can guess the shape in the feelie bag.
Mosaic Shape Dominoes
Mosaic Shape Dominoesallows students to explore shapes and match side lengths as they form a trail of shapes. They match shape sides that are the same length to make a trail around the mat. As for the other activities, questions help students to think about how they can place the tiles. For example,
Ella says, I can make fun trails with shapes.
Designs from Mosaic Shapes
Mosaic shapes are used to create geometric designs. Students used design cards to make up their own designs using the mosaic shapes. They then discussed with a partner what shapes were used in their design.
Through these fun activities and others, Room 15 has had the opportunity to think about, discuss and draw geometric shapes and understand they are all around us in our everyday environments.
Keywords: geometric, attributes, everyday