Sunday, October 11, 2015

Playing with Shapes

As any early childhood educator knows kids learn best through play. This was proven recently by my class as we were learning about shapes. In addition to our "regular" lessons on shapes my Kinders had lots of hands-on experiences with shapes. The materials were introduced during whole group lessons, but then were placed in our "math baskets" for lots of exploritory play.

Super cheap coffee stirrers are perfect for making shapes with sides & corners. I cut some in half so the kids could make rectangles & various sizes of squares during this whole group lesson.

In another whole group lesson we added some Wikki Stix to create shapes with curves, shapes with straight lines, and shapes with curves & straight lines. 

Once this little guy discovered that the Wikki Stix fit into the ends of the coffee stirrers we had all sorts of interesting shapes. After we were done with this lesson I put everything into a basket & the kids had fun playing with them during our free play times.

We started learning the names & properties of solid shapes as a whole group. But, the fun began once I put the shapes into a math basket. That's when the kids really learned which shapes can roll or can be stacked. They also compared & matched faces while building some pretty interesting structures.

The cool outcome of all this play is that when I tested my kiddos everyone was able to name the flat shapes & nearly everyone was able to name the solid shapes! Even those who couldn't remember the names of the solid shapes could tell me why some could roll & others couldn't & the names of the faces. CCSS standard: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.G.B.4 Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes ~ check!

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