This year we have continued math class with our youngest children by working on geometry.
The first class looked at what they knew about a triangle. They drew pictures that included triangles and we talked about triangles having 3 sides and 3 corners.
The second class we worked with 4 1/2 inch squares to visualize how to fold and cut them to make specific designs. For most of the children this was a challenge because they had to envision how to turn the one “big” square into smaller shapes: triangles or small squares. Most tried eyeballing the design and shapes and then used scissors to cut something similar. This led us to two new words – congruent and similar…they are still working on these words but..they are becoming more and more familiar with them as the class progresses. When they found they needed to fold the paper and cut carefully most of the children were successful.
Next we tried making a 4 1/2 inch square into a rocket shape using 3 triangles and one rectangle. Trial and error were the primary strategy. Children all worked hard to make the rocket…
The most recent activity went home to you as homework for you to do with your children. They used a 4 1/2 inch square folded in a VERY specific way to see how many different shapes they could make. By this time we were creating and identifying shapes with 3, 4, 5, 6 sides and 3,4,5,6 corners. We could makes different shapes and different sizes. As children traced their shapes…we began to keep a list of the names and attributes of different shapes. Children have been exposed to the words triangle, squares, rectangles, pentagons and hexagons..One children came up with the sensible word “sixagon”. While absolutely descriptive…we acknowledged that in math we call it a hexagon.
During game time, children recently began using tangram shapes to make larger shapes from smaller shapes.
We have had a lot of fun as we used fine motor skills for folding, tracing, and cutting to make all our different shapes. Children have worked hard and with repeated tries to recreate shapes, checking whether a shape was a different shape or just a different size. Was it the same shape, merely turned or flipped? There has been lots of interaction in pairs and as a small group.