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Welcome to my blog! I use my blog as a way to reflect, share, organize, and re-conceptualize my views as an educator. Enjoy and feel free to comment, post, disagree, and share your opinion. The more perspectives, the better!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Geometry Unit

I finally finished my TPAC geometry unit. This was the first major unit I planned. We started planning for our unit during fall quarter. It was at this time that I realized that there was no way I could teach Geometry in only five days. My unit, the one that started as 5 days, was a full 2.5 week. Thanks to snow days and holidays, my unit took over three weeks. 

I could not be happier with the results of my unit. The really exciting thing about this until was that the majority of students had already met the 1st grade Geometry standards so my unit was almost all enrichment. I chose to focus on 2 main ideas:

(1) Identifying shapes by the number of sides and angles they have and
(2) Composing and decomposing shapes from other shapes.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
From a teaching perspective, I really tried to incorporate many different learning styles. We had hands-on activities, connections to literature, book study, and traditional worksheets. Not all of the lessons I taught were perfect, but I feel confident that they were effective and taught my students to look at shapes in a different way. 

Throughout this lesson I capitalized on my students love of reading by using children's literature to introduce and review many of the concepts in my unit. Dr. Seuss' The Shape of Me, The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns, and The Great Shape Race by McGraw Hill were staples to introducing non-traditional shapes, using sides and angles to label shapes, and exploring 3-D shapes respectively.

One of my most popular activities was our shape hunt. The children split up into teams to find objects in the room that had either no sides, 3 sides (a triangle), 4 sides (quadrilaterals), or 5+ sides. This was a fun take on "write the room" and I loved the carry over between math and science. After the lesson I left extra scavenger hunt pages with a basket of picture books so the children could do a literature shape hunt when they finished their work early.

Additionally, as you can see in the slide show, I incorporated books about quilting into our CAFE (reading workshop) time. I also plan to continue the quilting theme by reading Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt during black history month. After reading the book, each child will add a small house to their quilt square. This house will symbolize a stop on the Underground Railroad similar to Clara's Quilt. 

I LOVED teaching this unit! I have 101 more ideas I could have incorporated, but good things come to an end and there is always next year! After we finished our assessment (twice, but that is another post itself), it was time to move on to our Money unit. 

P.S: My mom deserves a shout out for helping me cut 1,000 triangles for our class quilt over winter break. This is clearly why I went home :)

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