Week of November 3rd – Geometry & Spatial Sense

Exploring Resources

This week’s learning activities were centered around geometry and spatial sense. For 2-D shapes we used geoboards and toothpicks to demonstrate the qualities of the shapes. For 3-D shapes, we used clay and toothpicks to recreate the dimensions according to specific instructions. We also looked at creating nets of 3-D shapes and had time to construct various 3-D shapes using some pre-made nets.During the symmetry session, we had an opportunity use mirrors. We completed some half drawn images from a worksheet and also created half of an original drawing that was to be completed by a partner. The presenter also shared a tool from MathIsFun.com that allows you to create symmetrical drawings. Lastly, we looked at dissecting and combining shapes. Using tangrams was a fun way to explore the properties of 2-D shapes.

Near the end of our session we also reviewed some really cool applications that I would like to share! Click the links for more detailed reviews and to download.

Osmo is a one-of-a-kind app. This amazing app kit comes with a camera mirror as well as tangram pieces, letters and numbers. Even though it is on the pricey side, this app has some amazing classroom applications. One tangram activity has users creating shapes physically and the camera reads the pieces and displays the shape on the screen. Check out this video to see for yourself.

 

Slice It! is a neat app that requires users to slice shapes into a predetermined amount of equal pieces. It takes a good grasp of spacial sense to complete and is quite entertaining.

Foldify is an app that has users creating unique nets of 3-D shapes. Users can make simple nets or complicated nets (like a Spongebob character net) that have the option to be printed. Although its connection to the curriculum is more playful than serious, it is still fun for overall geometry knowledge and interest in the strand.

noiƚɔɘlʇɘЯ | Reflection

The lessons on Geometry and Spatial Sense definitely expanded my thinking as a math teacher. There are many valid and reliable resources that are available to create a fun and active learning environment. In my opinion, this unit of math is extremely hands on and visual. Students need to feel and see the shapes in order to get a fundamental understanding of their properties, especially with younger students. The use of tangrams, connect-blocks, toothpicks & clay, nets, or any other manipulatives to build and create 2-D or 3-D shapes has extreme value. I am excited at the opportunity to approach this part of the curriculum creatively with many good resources for my students. I really like the Osmo app. Even though it is expensive, it is a modern technology that beautifully combines kinesthetic and visual learning applications.
I also think it could be interesting to try and create cross curriculum activities that make use of geometry and spatial sense expectations. For example, I remember in Grade 5, my teacher had us constructing a method of transportation (ie. car or boat) in a woodshop type class. I would hope that as an educator I can build on an experience like this and incorporate mathematics expectations into an assignment to fully demonstrate the useful applications of math in our every day lives.
– A

 

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