Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.
We do calendar on Starfall every afternoon. This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free. A detailed description of Daily Calendar math is included in the resources.
Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched "Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and back, counting by tens to 100 and counting to 100 by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.
It is important to determine first what students already know about shapes. One way to determine this is to create a circle map with your class. Using large chart paper, write "Shapes" in the center and read the words with your students.
Ask if anyone knows what open means. I use popsicle sticks with students names on them to randomly choose a student to respond. Always choose a student after you have posed the question and provided adequate think time. One idea that might assist students with explaining and seeing the difference would be to consider boxes, rather than "open a door". Although the vocabulary and specific instruction about open and closed shapes is not a part of the K standards, knowing that all of the "lines connect" to make a shape is important. Four unconnected, parallel, equally-sized lines do not make a square, until we connect the lines.
Once the concept of open has been established, ask what closed would mean if open means... Once the concept of closed is established, then apply to shapes. Ask, "What would a closed shape be then?"
Once the idea of what a closed shape is has been discussed place a circle around the words "closed shapes." Ask students if they know the names of any closed shapes (almost all hands will go up). Pull sticks to solicit responses. Record shape names and draw the shapes around the outside of the circle. Once the students have exhausted their ideas, draw a circle around the recorded responses. Finally, ask students where they may have learned about those shapes (mom, dad, books, TV shows, preschool, etc.). Record responses on the outside of the second circle. Once responses are exhausted, draw a square around the outside of the poster. This is referred to as the frame of reference. Review all information recorded on the circle map poster before proceeding to the next section.
Once students can recognized the basic closed shapes, and can identify a circle, triangle, square and rectangle (hexagon, pentagon and octagon will be addressed in a future lesson) it is time to provide them with My Shape Book and go shape hunting. Tell the students they are going on a shape hunt. They need to be quiet as they hunt shapes with a partner. Set a timer for 20 minutes and tell the students they have 20 minutes to trace the first four pages and hunt the shapes in the classroom. They trace the dotted line shapes and dotted line shape names on the first four pages before they begin.
Teams will not all start hunting at the same time as some will trace the shapes and names faster than others. Once the first four pages are traced, the students and their partners go around the room and look for objects containing each of the shapes. They draw the objects (to the best of their abilities) on the page corresponding to the shape they found in the object (e.g. draw a clock on the circle page or a door on the rectangle page). Students will spend 10 to 15 minutes of this time hunting for shapes and recording what they find. Encourage them to look for hidden shapes in things (e.g. circles in the pencil sharpener). You may have to provide several examples depending on the class and the overall prior experiences they've had with shape recognition.
Once the timer goes off, students return their pencil to the tables and come sit whole group on the floor with their shape books. Share a sample book you created earlier. This is your time to demonstrate for the students how you would like them to share what they found.
Using the same opening sentence stems to develop students in their math expressions and communications (MP3) starts them off for years of mathematical learning! Some examples to consider are:
I (wrote, drew) ___________. It is __________ . I know this because __________ .
I noticed __________ . I wonder __________ .
You can have teams show what they found for all the pages or you can ask each pair to share only what they found for one page if you need to stick to the 15 min time frame. Give each team an opportunity to share something.
**This lesson is repeated for the more challenging shapes of oval, pentagon, hexagon and octagon.
Provide each student with an Exit Ticket and a privacy folder (if your class needs them - mine usually do). Ask the students to draw one object that they see around the room in each box that has the corresponding shape in it (e.g. box with square - student draws classroom window). Once the students have completed this independent task, collect the exit tickets and sort them immediately by those who can match an object in the room to the shapes on the pages.
Circulating as students work will pay off later, when you are trying to decipher their drawings. Remember it is better to ask students to "tell you" about their drawing, rather than asking them to name it or worse yet, name it yourself. If students struggle with the request to "tell me" about their drawing, "noticing" is a good next step. "I noticed that you have a long line here. What happens here?"
As students line up to go to a special area class (art, music, PE) or for lunch, hold construction paper or card stock cut out shapes (the four shapes covered in this lesson) for students to individually identify as they line up at the door. Have a clipboard and notes sheet to record incorrect responses. If a student answers incorrectly, provide two clues before giving the correct answer (e.g. it has four sides and its name begins with /s/). Record students who cannot name a shape after being given clues. Plan to meet with them in a small group the next day to support master of this concept.
This extension is rather important. If you can't fit it in immediately, it will make for more struggle later. Try to work this mini activity into other parts of your day as well.