Our first few lessons were what I call "Shape/Not Shape" lessons. The students looked at a group of squares and were told, "these are squares." Then we looked at another group of shapes that were not squares and, you guessed it, were told, "these are not squares." Then they were given a variety of shapes and asked to sort out the squares. We would discuss how they knew something was a square. It had four sides... it had four corners... the sides were the same.... yadda yadda. We did this for triangle and circle too. I will admit that I didn't do rectangle because I was getting bored with this... (so that means they were too!)
After Shape/Not Shape, we talked more about corners and sides. I made 231 tiny balls of clay (next year I will use something else!) and cut up a bunch of pipecleaners. The kids' job was to create each shape using the correct number of corners (clay) and sides (pipecleaners). This was superfun. Here are a few examples:
Then we brought out the geoboards. Now, I will be honest, I never used these with kindergarteners because I assumed I would spend more time dodging flinging rubber bands. Well, I was wrong. My kids ROCKED IT. Check it out.
Then we hit the grass. I put the kids in small groups and told them to make themselves into a shape. The remaining children had to thumbs-up or thumbs-down if the shape looked good enough for a picture. A side benefit of this activity was to see who emerged as a leader, and who didn't. Fascinating!
And we're not done yet! Today the kids will be searching for shapes in the classroom and drawing them. Tomorrow we will be making pictures using only shapes. I'll post the results. Happy Thursday!