Fun With Pattern Blocks

Thursday, April 6, 2017
I think that teaching shapes is one of my favorite things to do in math each year... It usually comes toward the end of our math curriculum, so it's a nice break from working with equations, AND it's so hands on! A few years ago, our district adopted the EnVision math series when the big Common Core switch happened. While there were many great components, we realize it wasn't rigorous enough for our students, and their needs weren't being met. So, this year, we're "dabbling" in Ready Common Core. As with any switch to a new series, it comes with its ups and downs, but one thing I really like about the program is the first few days of each new lesson. The student pages are designed to let them "explore it" then "try it." I love this approach, especially with the lesson on shapes, as it allows students to truly make sense of the idea on their own. The lesson yesterday challenged the students to use the shapes they know to make new shapes. In these pictures, I had the students make a hexagon using 3 different shapes...

For today's small group time, I decided to break free from the math series, and asked the students to create different pictures based on some task cards I created. The creativity was astounding! I gave very little prompting, and it was so neat to see them chatting about shapes and how they fit together. I gave them about 20 minutes to explore and make different pictures, and when I had to change groups, they whined and begged for more. No joke! I'll be adding this little activity to the "game time" portion of my math rotations... Stay tuned, I'll be blogging about my math routine soon!

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