Guest Blog post by Stephanie Moorman of Teaching in Room 6
In an effort to help my students more clearly grasp the Measurement and Geometry standards, I have tried hard to break away from the book and use hands-on strategies to introduce and reinforce concepts. Here are a few of the activities and lessons I have done in the past to teach my students measurement and geometry. Next week in Part II of this blog post, I'll share a few more.
Identifying various two-dimensional shapes can be rather boring when simply looking in a book. One thing I have done to get my students more actively involved in their learning is to break out my trusty stack of magazines.
The students divide their paper into 5 columns, one for each of the basic polygons we are learning. If you are learning more (ie: equilateral triangle, scalene, isosceles or the various different types of quadrilaterals) just divide your paper into the appropriate amount of columns. At the top of the page, I have the students draw the regular polygon and we list the attributes. Then, they are off. The students search the magazine for pictures of the polygons, cut them out, and glue them under the proper column heading.
Once the students enter into the realm of three-dimensional solid figures, using the book definitely doesn’t cut it. So there are several things I do to get the kids thinking, and learning, about solid figures.
Food is always a hit with the students. Actually creating solid figures out of marshmallows and toothpicks is a wonderful way to get the kids thinking. We discuss the vertices, edges, and faces for each solid figure, and the students set about building them.
Nets of Solids
Using the marshmallow figures described above, I have the students deconstruct them and create the nets. This is VERY difficult for them, mostly because once you take some of the toothpicks out of the marshmallows, there are edges missing! The students need to figure out that they have to add the toothpicks and marshmallows to create the whole. It is interesting to see who gets this concept.
Angles and Lines
I am big on kinesthetic learning. Because of this, I have a lot of motions and gestures instilled in my teaching of concepts to help the kids better understand. When it comes to angles, we get moving a lot! Using their arms, I have the students show me each type of angle and line as best they can. The kids really get into it! When I say “parallel lines”, their arms always move up over their heads in two straight lines. When I say “ray”, their arm extends out and they point off in one direction. An “obtuse angle” has two arms, one extended out straight from their body and the other at a large angle. The kids LOVE moving around, and it really helps them remember all of the different angles and lines.
So there you have it! These are some simple ways to get your kids actively involved in learning the Measurement and Geometry standards. There are SO many more ways to have a hands-on experience with these standards, and I'll be share a few more with you next week. I'll also be including a Hands-on Geometry freebie for you to customize! If you have ideas to share, please leave a comment and let us all know!
Stephanie Moorman is a 5th grade teacher who has been teaching elementary school for 14 years. She has her Masters in Education and is Nationally Board Certified. She is the creator of the Teaching in Room 6 blog where she enjoys sharing her strategies with others.