Shapes are some of the first math concepts that young kids learn and they tend to love them. We always take some time at the beginning of the year to review shapes and practice working with them. I know I have said it before, but this year's class is amazing! We have already started talking about octagons and pentagons because they are just so darn awesome. Here are some of the fun things we did working on shapes the last few weeks.
Pipe cleaners and straws were a favorite center for our shape learning kids. The great thing about this center is that it lends itself to 3-d shapes as well. Brandon and Jaxon are working on making squares. You can see a cube that Connor and I made in the background. In the foreground you can see a heptagon (7 sided shape) that Valerie made. Lucy made a pentagon and made the connection that it looks like a house. Pretty cool shape learning going on there. To check out how we did this center, click here for more detailed instructions.
You all know that I can't sing enough praises about pattern blocks. They are so amazing for teaching different subjects like fractions, angles/geometry, colors, and of course shapes! Today we worked on matching and fine motor skills by building premade pattern block pictures. As you can see the kids were really engaged and also really proud of themselves when they finished. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you are still working on how to control your hands and fingers to do hard things, putting those blocks in just the right place without disturbing the rest of your picture can be a hard thing. Do you know what else is a hard thing for them? Turning the block in just the right way as you put it in just the right place. It's a good thing that these kids can do hard things! We found our pictures a long time ago and I don't have the link, but if you google "printable pattern block pictures," lots of great ideas come up.
Learning numbers and shapes? Yes, please. We played this game where the kids worked on counting the dots on a side of a die and matching it to the shape for that number, then coloring that shape on their robot. As you can see, we didn't finish during class, but I gave kids the option of taking it home for "homework" and they all brought it back.
I know that all of you have these shape block toys at home. Ours is a little more advanced because it has shape holes on 5 sides so you have to turn the cube to match the shape. These are a great way to talk about shapes! The kids learned fun words like trapezoid and rhombus while working on their matching skills. I know these toys often gather dust in a closet, but pull yours out and open a dialogue about shapes with your young ones. They will have a lot of fun.