It's All Equal to Me! (talking about squares)

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SWBAT identify and describe a square by it's attributes.

Big Idea

Kindergarteners love to identify shapes in their environment. In order effectively do that, they must be able to recognize different shapes by their specific attributes. In this lesson kindergartners learn about the attributes of a square.

Daily Calendar & Counting Review

20 minutes

Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.

Calendar Time:

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.

Direct Instruction

20 minutes

I began the lesson by reviewing our shapes chart. We review the names and attributes of circles. Then we seize the moment and move on to creating our large squares poster.

Me (holding up a square die cut): What do we call this shape?

Students: Rectangle!

Me: What KIND of shape is it?

Students: 2 dimensional flat plane! (see video for hand 2D hand signal).

Me: How do you know it's a 2 dimensional shape?

Student (I call on a random hand up): It's 2 dimensional because it's flat and can't move.

Me: Okay! It is a 2 dimensional flat plane and it is flat and can't move. (We discuss the real attributes of a 2 dimensional shape in a later lesson, -------- which compares 2D and 3D shapes).

Me: Well, what makes this shape a square? What can you tell me about this shape? (I draw the shape on the chart paper.

Students (names randomly picked one at a time from popsicle sticks in a jar) are provided with the sentence stem, "The square has __________."

Student 1: The square has four points.

Me: What are those points called? (If student is unable to answer, I ask another student to "help" him or her. (I circle the points on the square.)

Student: The points are called corners (some say vertex - either is accepted)

Me: What else makes this shape a square? What else can you tell me about it?

Student 2: The square has four sides. (If the student doesn't use a complete sentence to answer, guide them into rephrasing their answer into a complete sentence using the sentence frame.)

Me: Awesome! A square has four corners and four sides (I number the sides of the square on the chart).

We then add the square to our shapes chart and fill in the the attributes portion of All Shapes Poster. I leave a space between the circle and the square for the triangle lesson that will be taught later. It helps when the poster starts in order of the number of sides a shape has because the kids seem to visualize it better.

Next we took a few minutes to compare circles and squares by their attributes. I was looking to see if the students could describe each of the shapes.

Management Tip: To call on students, I pull names on popsicle sticks that are housed in a plastic jar. This prevents me from sub-consciously choosing the same students repeatedly or calling on too many girls versus boys and vice versa.

Tracing Squares

15 minutes

I provide the students with plastic squares of different sizes (Magnatiles and Attribute Blocks from Lakeshore Learning). They trace the squares on blank copy paper to get a "feeling" for squares. I invite them to trace random squares, or use them to make a picture (for my higher-level learners).

I then have them circle the angles of the squares and number them on each square. I have them number the sides of each square. My higher level kids have the challenge of recognizing that when two squares are touching, they share a side.

We gather on the floor and share our square projects with our talking partners.

Classroom Management Tip: Think-Pair-Share is a great way to get all the kids talking about what they have learned. Once they have shared with their talking partners, they feel more comfortable sharing with the whole class. This is especially important for the second language learners. It allows them to reinforce their thinking as well as academic vocabulary development. It also encourages positive behavior and deters outbursts and behaviors associated with disengagement. 

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

With this How Many Squares? exit ticket, I check to see if the kids can identify squares. I don't expect them to independently remember and draw the shape after the first session of direction instruction.

Once they complete the exit ticket, I separate them into two piles: Meets and Needs. My Meets pile is made up of the students who satisfactorily complete the exit ticket (one or none errors). My Needs pile is made up the students who still additional instruction or a small group experience.



5 minutes

We spend a few minutes discussing what we learned about squares. This is an important opportunity to support and develop student use of mathematical vocabulary. In doing so, it is important to give them the time/opportunity to retrieve these words, so rather than providing them with the vocabulary, prompt them using visuals, kinesthetic models, etc.

One student brings up the fact that when she put two squares together they make a rectangle.

Another student shares that when she put four small squares together, two on top and two on the bottom, to make a big square.

I have the students come up and share what they have created in their tracing pages, and point out the rectangle and the big square made of small squares.

These observations tell me that theses students may need additional extension activities as we investigate the rest of the shapes. I know from their work that they are advanced in geometric thinking compared to the rest of the class. Tangram pictures is a perfect extension activity. They will either play with real tangrams and a tangram picture book, or online at Tangram Puzzles for Kids by ABCya!