Want to add FUN to your Math block?

Hands-On Shapes Lessons

Who else is teaching geometry standards this time of year? Our new math curriculum moved two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes up to earlier in the year and I love that it introduces these important skills so early since we need ALL the time to master these tricky shapes {especially those 3D Shapes!) 

It can be difficult for students to remember the names of shapes and all of their features, so I like to incorporate a ton of hands-on learning activities to help them remember it all! Today, I have three of my favorite hands-on shape lessons that you can do with your students.

Shapes Match Ups

These puzzles are a great hands-on tool to use in centers or small groups. Simply print on card stock, laminate so they will last for years, then cut apart the pieces. Mix them up in a plastic baggie and let students dump out the pieces and match the features of different shapes to the title. This will help them review all of the treats of the shapes you have taught so far.

Turn it into a lesson:

As you introduce different 2-D and 3-D shapes, create a running anchor chart that lists things like vertices, sides, and the name of each shape. Have students create an identical anchor chart in their math notebooks. Put these puzzles out in centers or do them as a small group activity. Students will work with each other to match the puzzles correctly. They can use the anchor charts you created together in class to make sure that they are getting the right answers.

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Shape Monsters

Students use pattern blocks to create monster shapes on a mat. After building the monsters, they chart how many of each shape they used. 

Turn it into a lesson:

This makes for a great small-group activity, because it’s easy to differentiate. Students who are ready for words like vertices can count the number of vertices in their monster at the end of building their design. Students who simply need to continue naming the different shapes can point to each shape in their monster and name it aloud for you before starting a new one. You can deepen the learning with this activity, or keep it surface level depending on your students’ needs.

A Year of Pattern Block Mats

These pattern black mats have a variety of designs to go with different months of the year. Students work to fill the designs with pattern blocks. These make great morning tubs or centers because they are self-guided. You can print the designs as mats, or print the mats into booklets that each student can keep. 

Turn it into a lesson:

If you are looking for a way to review everything you’ve taught about shapes this year pull these mats into a paired whole-group lesson or a small-group lesson. Let students work with a partner to build the shapes and have them quiz each other.

Students can ask student be a series of questions about the names of different shapes how many sides a certain shape has etc. After a certain amount of time have them swap and let students be quizzed. You can repeat this with different pattern blocks mats as often as you want.

If you want to get started with these activities and teach any of these lessons in your classroom, click the links below to shop. Happy teaching everyone!

Shape Match Up

Shape Monsters

Pattern Blocks

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