During the month of March our math focus was on learning about Geometry. We had the opportunity to learn a lot of new vocabulary, not only the names of shapes; rhombus, trapezoid, sphere and cylinder to name a few, but also words that help us describe shapes like vertices, edges and faces.
We started our shape investigation with a simple question about circles and squares. Can you fill a large circle with small square tiles?
Most of us were pretty sure there must be some strategy to make this work. After manipulating the squares and trying various ways, such as building up and overlapping squares, some came very close. In the end we all came to the same conclusion: you can’t make an actual circle with squares because a square has straight lines and a circle is a curved line. This began our discussion on the attributes of two dimensional shapes.
The next day our question was about how many ways there are to make a hexagon using the pattern blocks. Again, with some manipulation of shapes, flexibility in thinking and a little bit of collaboration we were each able to come up with at least six different ways to make a hexagon.
This naturally led us to try to see what else we could create with the pattern blocks.
We spent time looking around our environment trying to find shapes. It was amazing to see how many two dimensional and three dimensional shapes we could find in our classroom, outside and around the church.
We created shapes using toothpicks and clay, read books about shapes and categorized shapes using their properties.
It was exciting to watch each student expand and build on their current knowledge of shapes!