Thursday, 28 February 2013

It's the same ol' same ol'

This week all I wanted was for this shape unit to be over. I feel like I have been working on shape forever. Saying this, there are so many aspects of shape that haven't been covered in depth. Fingers crossed I've given my set enough information to get them through the end of year tests (which ironically are not taken at the end of year). 
I had only planned on spending one day working on symmetry. We have discussed this idea before, but had not worked on using a mirror to find reflective symmetry. This tool is a real pain joy to teach and get the students to use correctly. I noticed that students were doing well to get your basic vertical/horizontal lines of symmetry, but were not quite understanding the diagonal. When discussing what symmetry meant, one of my genius students mentioned it was where you could fold a shape in half.
Realising one day was not quite enough to reinforce the idea of symmetry, I decided to use my student's comment to plan another lesson.
This lesson required students to choose a shape and trace around. They needed to cut around their shape. This is potential disaster for 7-8 year olds as they enjoy cutting quickly, therefore not into the shape needed, or still haven't mastered how to hold scissors. To my surprise these kiddos got stuck in and concentrated on their work.
Students working very intently on tracing and cutting neatly around their shapes.
After they cut their shapes they started folding it to find the lines of symmetry. I was amazed at how much easier it was for them to find the diagonals!
Some sweet folding of a hexagon. 
My favourite thing about this lesson is that the students were so proud of their work. They were the ones to suggest tracing over their lines of symmetry. All of them were keen to make more than one shape and they were able to make at least 2. (One child did 6!)
A completed shape
I'm so glad we were able to work more with symmetry. They are now have a better understanding of reflective symmetry and know how many lines to look for in regular shapes. 
Unfortunately I was still not able to finish shape ... still need to reinforce angles! I'll get there in the end.

Do you have any suggestions for teaching shapes? What are your favourite aspects of teaching shape.

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