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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
We need to use the correct terminology when teaching solid
shapes. Kindergartners do not need to be able to name the objects yet,
but exposure to the correct names for three-dimensional objects will
help them in the future.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Have students gather the geometric solids they brought from home. Encourage students to examine their object and find a student who has a similar object to the one they brought. Have students discuss the similarities and/or differences while bringing them to the whole group area.
Provide several centers focusing on shapes.
Andrews, A.G., (2004). Adapting manipulatives to foster the thinking of young children. Teaching Children Mathematics, 11(1), 15-17.
Children can use pattern blocks to investigate and predict how to combine shapes. By adding magnetic strips to the back of pattern blocks, a teacher found it easier and less frustrating for her young students to manipulate the blocks. The students were given more opportunities to learn about the geometric terms of flip, slide and turns.
Clements, D.H. (1999). Geometric and spatial thinking in young children. In Mathematics in the Early Years, ed. J.V. Copley, 66-79. Reston: VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Passively looking at shapes does not help children formulate ideas about shapes. Children’s ideas about shapes “come as children’s bodies, hands, eyes... and minds...engage in action.” Young children need to not only see and name shapes but to explore them and learn their parts and attributes. Manipulatives, especially solid manipulatives, help children learn about geometric shapes through their senses.
Oberdorf, C., (1999). Shape up! Teaching Children Mathematics, 5(6), 340-345.
The common misunderstandings young children have about geometry can be attributed to incorrect definitions of key vocabulary words and to a small number of “authentic experiences” with geometry. Manipulating objects, investigating objects and discussion about objects really help build children’s understanding of geometry.
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