Geometry is my FAVORITE unit to teach, mainly because students who don’t normally get the chance to shine are going to SHOCK you and because of all of the fun manipulatives involved. I love to save this unit for the spring, as there are a lot of manipulatives we like to use and I want to be sure the students are ready for them before we bust them out.
Daily Warm Up:
Each day I have students come in and grab a small container of play-doh and a 2D and 3D shape mat. I have these either laminated or in sheet protectors for daily use. You will be SHOCKED at how excited students get over play doh and how quietly they will work with it. Students know they need to use their one small tube of play doh for both mats, so they get used to making the shapes small quickly. They then count the important attributes (sides, angles, faces, vertices, edges).
Geometry is so much fun that even though it is typically scheduled for 2 weeks for us, I try to always stretch it to 3. We won’t do a worksheet each day, but will spend time in small groups focusing on creating shapes and on playing different games.
- Week One: 2D and 3D Shapes and Attributes
- Week Two: Fractions and Area
- Week Three: More Complex Fractions and Fun Review
The most challenging part of this unit is teaching students the difference between columns and rows. They also will struggle if there is only one row or column, as they tend to think the answer is 0. I am sure to review this each day, and to remind students that if there were 0 columns or rows that there would be no shape.
Center Ideas & Games:
There are SO many fun centers for geometry. Reviewing shape names and attributes is huge, as well as reviewing: the many different ways to divide shapes, area, whole fractions, rows, columns, etc.
There are also many fun projects that can be done during geometry. Our favorite is to make shape monsters! Students make a shape monster, then practice counting the different types of shapes used. Then, I have students write about them. We hang the writing and monster up separately in the hallway and it is a challenge to see if you can find each persons’ monster. This project is so fun! Check out their awesome work below:
I like to hang up each shape with the number of sides and angles for the first week. After a while, I cover up the sides and angles so that they are sure to practice this on their own. By the test, I also cover up the shape names and tell them it is important they spell the shape names right. We usually add in shape names for spelling words during this unit.
There are SO many great manipulatives for this unit! My favorites are:
- Play Doh
- 2D Shape Blocks (Pattern Blocks)
- 3D Shapes
- Square Tiles
Resources & Freebies:
Daily Math Warm Up Mats
Best of luck teaching this unit! Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions for teaching this in the comments below. Check back in two weeks for the next math segment on measurement.