Monday, April 2, 2012

Geometry Part 2

Hello everyone! In a previous post, I shared some activities about how I introduce polygons and triangles to my students. Well, I thought it was about time that I update you on some other ways in which I teach geometry concepts to my kiddos. 

Acute, Obtuse, and Right Angles
To introduce acute, obtuse, and right angles, I started out with a sorting activity. The kids sorted the angles under the proper heading: "acute," "obtuse," or "right."

As you can see from the picture above, the pictures of the angles are already labeled, which made it easy for them to sort. The students did not have any prior knowledge of these terms, which is why the pictures were labeled. All they had to do was sort and look for any similar patterns that they noticed about each angle. 

The students recorded their observations on a sheet of paper to share with their teammates. I really like this method for introducing terms because it allows the students to to be engaged in the learning of the words rather than simply having me explain to them what these angles are. 

In later lessons, the students practiced using a protractor to measure angles and looked for angles in other shapes as well. 

We also played a fun game to reinforce their understanding of angles called Mix 'N Match. I passed around the angle cards pictured above. Some students received a card with a just a word such as "acute angle," while other students received a picture of the angle. When I call out, "Mix 'N Match" the students get out of their chairs and wander around the room until they find their match. I usually set a timer or have a short song playing on my ipod. They have to find a partner before the music stops playing. They love this game and it is a very quick and simple review. 

You can download my angle cards that are shown in the pictures above for free by clicking here. The cards can be used to sort, play memory, or the Mix 'N Match game shown above. 

I also gave the students this little tool to help them determine whether an angle is acute, obtuse, or right. It was printed on leftover transparency paper I had from my old overhead projector. It's a great visual if they need help with identifying angles.

Finding Area
In California, third graders mostly find area by counting the number of square units in a figure. Although they're introduced to finding area by calculating length x width, they mostly have to literally count the squares inside a figure. To help practice this, we use Cheeze Its to help find the square units. 

I put different task cards around the classroom and the students had to use their Cheeze Its to measure the square units. The picture above is of a rectangle. The students filled the rectangle with Cheeze Its and counted the square units. You can download the task cards I used for this activity below. 

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