Circles All Around!

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SWBAT identify and describe a circle 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 circle.

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 begin 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 circle poster.

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

Students: Circle!

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 circle? 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 circle has __________."

Student 1: The circle has one side.

Me: What else makes this shape a circle? What else can you tell me about it? What kind of side or line does it have?

Student 2: The circle has a curved line.

Me: Awesome! A circle is made out of one continual curved side. (They learned this from the 2D video)

We then  our shapes chart using the circle and fill in the the attributes portion of the All Shapes Poster.


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 Circles

15 minutes

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

We gather on the floor and share our circle 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.

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

With this Find the Circles exit ticket, I check to see if the kids can identify circles. 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 circles.

Some of the kids make actual pictures out of the circles. A few create snowmen and one makes a wreath. I have her come up and explain what it was and how she made it using the tracing circles, to help the other kids visualize the use of circles in our environment.

These observations tell me that theses students may need additional extension activities that are outside of circles as we investigate the rest of the shapes. I know from their revelations 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!