**Ahoy, teachers! Before you set sail for the ****weeke****nd, check out this seaworthy gi****veaway!** When we featured a first-Friday giveaway last month, Mary won the giveaway drawing and received a sand pail of classroom treasures. In addition, nine of the 18 ideas shared on the blog were purchased for upcoming publications from The Mailbox. Awesome!

This month, the editors are sending out an **SOS for favorite geometry activities**. All things geometry are welcomed, including ideas for shoring up skills relating to plane shapes, solid shapes, partitioning shapes, shape attributes, reasoning with shapes, angles, perimeter, and area.

Just like last month, you’ll automatically be entered in the giveaway drawing when you share a favorite idea on this blog. As an added bonus, if your idea is selected for publication, you’ll earn **a $20 gift certificate** from The Mailbox.

Oh, one last detail! We pull up anchor on this giveaway opportunity at **midnight**,** Sunday**,** May 12**.** **

Smooth sailing to you!

Diane

**Congratulations to Char! She’s the winner of our giveaway!**

Our families love when we make classbooks because we take photos of the children while they are working and then add these photos to the book with each child’s page. Then each child waits for a turn to take the book home to share with his/her family. Afterwards, the books go in our library corner and at the end of the year, each child chooses a favorite book to take home and keep.

We make a classbook out of shape pictures. It is titled “Shape Pictures: Triangles, Circles, and Squares, Oh My!” We put out a basket of precut construction paper shapes in all color and sizes.The children choose the ones they want and make a picture. Each child’s page is captioned with “I used ____circles, _____triangles, and ____squares to make a ______________.Teachers help children count and fill in the number for each of the shapes. To differentiate for younger children, the caption could read ” I used ______ circles in my picture.” Sometimes when the children describe their pictures they add the color word “I used 5 red circles…”

I have the students bring in one 2d and one 3d shape from their home and we find the perimeter, area, and volume of these objects. (it’s a two day lesson).

1. Each child gets a packet of shapes. They all stand in circle and get ready to play the Hokey Pokey – the shapes way. Hold up shape and all children pick up the same shape. Then sing this song.

Put your circle in, Put your circle out.

Put your circle in and shake it all about.

We do the hokey pokey and we turn ourselves around

That’s what it’s all about.

2. Hold up large shapes. With the children’s participation, identify and talk about the attributes of each shape. Then, name and ask children to name common objects of each shape. For example: “This is a square. Can you say it? Square. A square has a few corners. Let’s count how many. One, two, three, four corners. We can see many squares in this classroom and in other places too. Can you tell me some squares that you see? I see a white square on the floor.” Do this for each shape. You can use this for harder shapes, too.

Then, put blocks or other shaped objects in a bag. Have children come up to feel the object through the bag. Then, they guess what shape it is. Have them explain why they think it is that shape.

After I teach my students about shapes and their attributes we take a shape tour around the school where they can record the different shapes they see in and outside of the classroom. They LOVE to do this after learning about 3D shapes.

I admit, I HATED geometry in school….I mean HATED it!

Then a substitute teacher appeared in my geometry classroom. She made geometry meaningful and understandable. How?

A pool table! Best geometry lesson on the planet!

I wish I could remember her name, but that was XX years ago 🙂

I make digital flash cards with my students for geometry in elementary. I break my class into into small groups, 3-5 students each. Then I have a parent volunteer take each group, a word list and a digital camera. The students have to find or create the geometry vocabulary then take a picture. Students then upload the pictures and create a slide show with definitions in their own words. I partner students from different groups together to watch each others slide shows.

I do a shape hunt with the children in the classroom. Find soemthing with a circle, square, and so forth.

I also change it up by making teams and give them areas of the classroom to find shapes in and the winning team is the one who has found the most shapes.

This is also doable on a outdoor walk. I like to take walks and we go on a shape walk.

I teach the shapes using a “Geometry Notebook” where the students draw each shape and then write the attributes under tha shapes as we discuss them.

Culminating activity: “Make an Alien!”

My directions are simple: using only geometric shapes, create an Alien. Then color your alien. The last part of each student’s assignment is to write a descriptive paragraph about their alien, using the attributes of each of their geometric shapes in their alien drawing.

You can extend this assignment by giving the descriptive paragraphs to other studnets in the class and letting them draw the alien using only the

description. Match the original to the drawing from the paragraphs. Display the two aliens together, with the description in between the two aliens.

I take the children out to the playground/blacktop to find the plane shapes. they stand and walk along the painted dodgeball circles, the squares that make up the game four-square, the hopscotch squares, the rectangles used for the basketball courts, etc.

I teach preschool so we do a lot of shape guessing/ matching! We use stamps to guess shapes and count number of sides! We use stamps shape stamps to count sides!

Pattern Blocks, Pattern Blocks, Pattern Blocks!

I use pattern blocks in my first grade classroom. I have magnetic blocks that I use on the white board. The students have a set of the same blocks. Together we make designs and talk about what attributes each shape has.

As homework each student is required to do a scavenger hunt at home and report to the class what they have found.

GEOBOARDS!

Geoboards are wonderful for teaching conceptual geometry to grades 2-8.

There can be extension activities for teaching area and perimeter. Such as how many sections (area between pegs) are covered by the rubber band. That is the perimeter. How many squares, area between four pegs, are between the rubber band? (Area)

I have purchased them before, and made them for classes. A piece of board with 50 small nails in it. Making 20 seems like a long time, but a week in my garage over summer and I had a class set that doesn’t break.

We use large foam shapes to build structures during small group. We take pictures of the before and after structures. We also take a walk around the classroom to let each group describe their structure. Last we let each group do a writi g piece to match their structure.