For the last 2 weeks my kindergarten students have been really digging deep to recognize, name, and define three dimensional shapes. To do this, we completed a ton of hands-on activities so that my students would internalize the different attributes of these new shapes.
The first shape that I taught my students was a sphere as they are very familiar with them. To learn the word “sphere” we played a game during morning meeting. I once read that a student needs many repetitions to internalize a word. Therefore, to help my students learn the word we played “The Wonder Sphere.” (I changed the words to ‘the wonder ball goes round and round…. to the wonder SPHERE goes round and round.) We passed around my wooden sphere and sang together. They LOVED this! By the end of the game, they had a good grasp on the word.
The next shape we learned was a cube. Since we use the word cube often in my classroom (unifix cubes, snap cubes, cube chairs, etc.) this was an ‘easy’ word to internalize. We also learned “rectangular prisms” the same day. My students used our pink tower and brown stairs to explore these shapes.
After these shapes, we learned the term cylinder. This was another relatively familiar word for my students as we use the Montessori knobless cylinders often. Learning about this shape reignited my students’ interest to take them out and work with them again.
After we had these shapes down, we started really looking into their attributes. We completed a game of “Scoot” where my students had to use their three dimensional shape to discover what 2-D shapes could be found in them. To do this, I set out a tub of play dough and a shape at each spot in my classroom. My students were each given a clipboard with a recording sheet and had to make a play dough pancake and then stamp their shape into the play dough. This was a great hands-on way for my students to make discoveries about each shape.
They really enjoyed this activity. However, their favorite activity was our “math experiment.” We completed this “experiment” during our guided math rotations.
The experiment helped my students deepen their understanding of the attributes of three dimensional shapes. (By this point my students learned: sphere, cylinder, cube, cone, pyramid, triangular prism, and rectangular prism.)
For this experiment my students had to fill out their recording page. They worked on one shape at a time determining how many faces each had.
If they would slide. (We used our hollow triangular block as a shape slide!)
If they could stack then on top of each other.
And if they rolled.
They worked so very hard on each task and spent MUCH more time than I imagined completing the assignment. In fact, the next day, they asked if they could do it again during our exploration centers. They loved exploring the shapes!
(All of these lessons and printables are found in my Quarter 2 Guided Math pack.)