Getting in Shape
Children actively explore shapes throughout the day-posing and solving geometric problems using their bodies, toys, manipulatives, and computers. Learning is further enhanced when they are given opportunities to discuss what they are doing and thinking about. Engage younger children in:
- using blocks and other materials to form pictures and buildings.
- identifying shapes they see in the classroom, outdoors, everywhere!
- sorting shapes and describing why they believe that a shape belongs to a specific group.
- creating a building that replicates the shapes and structure of someone else's, then adding to it in their own way for the other person to replicate. Talk to children and encourage them to talk about the shapes they see and use. Have "shape days," where crackers, fruits, and vegetables are cut in a specific shape, and a multitude of pictures, photographs, and materials feature the shape of the day.
Encourage older children to:
- measure, color, fold, and cut out shapes (or pictures of shapes).
- describe why a figure belongs or does not belong to a shape category.
- match the shapes they make to shapes they see.
- play "Guess My Shape" using attribute clues they give to each other. ("My shape has three sides and three corners.")
- make as many different shapes as they can by combining other shapes.
- build squares and shapes using toothpicks (for the sides) and marshmallows (for the corners).