Geometry Lesson in Kindergarten
Sometimes, I go into a classroom and see a lesson that makes me think, “That seriously just made my week.” Today was one of those days. In kindergarten, students were learning about the characteristics of triangles and rectangles. During the lesson, the teacher used multiple modalities to keep students engaged and active. Students had discussions with each other on the carpet, they used their math journal to make drawings of rectangles and triangles that could be found in their classroom and they labeled their drawings. Using blocks, students sorted shapes according to the number of sides, vertices and angles. Students used the language that they needed to use to describe these shapes.
Next, students used popsicle sticks to solve problems involving triangles and rectangles. This is the part that made me most excited because it was such an excellent example of the mathematical practices being used in a developmentally appropriate way.
During the lesson, Students received bags of popsicle sticks. They were asked to use the sticks to make a triangle. They discussed the characteristics of the triangle that they made. Then, the teacher asked them make a rectangle that has two long sides and two short sides. Some kids made a rectangle with 6 sticks and some made their rectangle with 8 sticks. Noticing this, the teacher asked the students, ” Why do some rectangles have more sticks than others?” After students had the opportunity to talk about the two different rectangles that had been made, one student came to the conclusion that one of the rectangles used 8 sticks “because she made it longer!”