Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shapes, Shapes, and more Shapes!

At my school for math we follow the Houghton Mifflin Common Core Curriculum.  For most of my units though, I look for hands on activities, games, and create centers to make the lessons engaging for my students instead of just sticking with the workbook.  Right now in second grade we are learning about shapes!  2D and 3D shapes and their properties.

I love Amy Lemons' blog and get some great ideas from her.  I always check out her site before starting a unit to get ideas.   Check her out when you have the chance:  

I started our shape unit by reading the Greedy Triangle.  I paused throughout the book to let students create each shape the triangle turned into with their geoboards.  Students loved it!  It was a great way to keep them engaged with the book while practicing making the different shapes.

Later in the week, after learning all of the 2D shape names and their number of sides and angles, I gave my students a geoboard, rubber band, and iPad.  Their project was to make six of the shapes we learned about on their geoboard.  After making a shape, they used their iPad to take a picture of it to show me at the end.  It was a very independent project and as students finished they came over to me and flipped through their pictures on the iPad (while telling me the names of the shapes again for another little formative assessment).  You know your students are getting more tech savvy than you when a second grader tells you, "You know Mrs. Rabe, we could have just used the geoboard app on our ipads and taken screen shots instead to show you." Next year!

Last week on Thursday, we learned about quadrilaterals.  I found a YouTube video about quadrilaterals and my students loved getting up out of their desks to sing and dance.  They asked to listen to it a few times that day. Check it out! After playing it a few times for your students it will definitely get stuck in your head!  I gave my students a little quiz at the end of class about quadrilaterals and they all did great.  Songs really help them learn!

If anyone has any other ideas about teaching shapes in a hands-on way let me know!  I love doing projects and using games and songs to teach so I'm always looking for new things to add to my shape unit!


  1. The Greedy Triangle is a wonderful mentor text! Your students are so smart to be able to suggest an alternative for next year. You are teaching them well. Have you ever tried Kahoot with your kiddos? That might be fun for shape identification. Thank you also for the suggestion of Amy's blog.

  2. Songs and videos are a great way to engage students and to present information in a different manner. I like to use the Math Antics videos as well, to either give students a preview of what we'll be learning or to reinforce a skill that we are working on. Check them out if you haven't!

  3. I love that you take the curriculum and make it your own! So often our kiddos are sitting with workbooks and worksheets. They are gaining so much more from your teaching than they would just from following that textbook! You're also fostering those independent work skills and project based learning. Way to go!