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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ship Shape With Shapes

We were formally finishing with shapes today. We continue shape discussions throughout the year, but today was an end to the "formality."

As you know we finished our shape books in February. The final piece was to add an "I Know My Shapes" page to the children's Me Books. That is what we did today. This is a very easy page. I already have the shapes cut out, I ask the children the names of the shapes, they take the shapes and create a house and tree. Finally, the take some markers--if they wish--and decorate their paper. Very simple, but somewhat of an assessment on my part.

Before we did the shape page I thought it would be fun to do some play dough shapes. This activity was quite an eye opener. The idea was to give each child a ball of play dough, have them create a "snake" with it, then turn the snake into the given shape.

This took quite a while. I was shocked first at the number of children that had no idea how to make a ball to squish into a snake. (Now we have play dough out on the tables quite a bit. It is of the child's choosing if they wish to play here or not.)

Then came the snake. Another task indeed. Out of 13, probably 3 could make snakes. And those three just kept rolling and rolling until the snake fell apart. So Mrs. T and I helped show them how to make snakes and rolled their hands back on forth on the play dough balls.

OK, so now we have snakes. Let's make a shape. Circle went well--pretty easy. Triangle was okay, after we guided a straight bottom. I then explained for the square we were going to break our snake into four pieces and arrange them like a square--I did it for them too to show them. We helped them break the pieces, as many were unsure, and then they just looked at us and said I can't do it. No idea how to arrange the four pieces to make them look like a square. Same experience with the square.

Now, I don't know,I never did this before. Maybe I was asking too much. I thought I explained it well, as well as, showed them how to do each shape. This will definitely be an area for experimentation again.

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Mariana said...

Children usually have a hard time taking their hands down to practise. They may have the idea of a square but it may be more difficult for them to transform a snake into one.

Preschool Crafts said...

Cute ideas!! I think the shape book is a great idea and I love the house and tree you made. My favorite idea is making the shapes out of playdoh. My daycare kids love playdoh. I have a recipe on my website for Jello Playdoh and it smells so good and lasts for so long in a storage bag.

Boscoppa Pre-School said...

You can achieve similar learning by using coloured lolly/ice cream stciks that the children can sequence as instructed, make into shapes (except obviously not those with curves!)and use to copy designs that the teacher makes or make their own designs.