Rolling, Stacking & Sliding

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Students will be able to name and describe the attributes of three-dimensional shapes.

Big Idea

Students engage with 3D shapes in their environment, exploring how they roll, stack and slide.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start the lesson with a problem of the day to help students review skills and concepts from prior lessons and develop their ability to problem solve.  I call the students up to the carpet. The students find their spots while saying this chant with me.

Criss cross, applesauce, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher, you've got to show me that.

I project the Problem of the Day on the SMART Board and say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  This says 'Name the shapes.  Sort the objects into the correct group.'  This problem has two parts.  What does it want us to do first?"  (Name the shapes.)  "What are the shapes?" (A sphere and a cone.)  "What does it want us to do next?"  (Sort the objects into the correct group.) I call up students to drag the objects into the correct groups.

I tell students, "Today we are going to continue learn about three-dimensional shapes."

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

I have the students sit in a circle around the edge of the circle, and place two of each of the wooden three-dimensional shapes in the middle of the circle.  I remind the students not to touch any of the objects.  I hold up each shape to review the names.  I then say, "We are going to talk about the words roll, stack and slide."  I take the sphere and roll it to a students.  "The sphere can roll.  When a shape rolls it turns over again and again.  A shape need to be round to roll.  Which other shapes roll?"  We test each of the other shapes.  We do this with sliding and stacking.  See example here.

I tell students that we will continuing to practice on a Roll, Slide, and Stack worksheet.  I show students the paper and say, "We are going to do this paper together.  You need to get out a pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start."  I like to have students hold up their pencils or put their hands on their heads when they are finished with a task.  It makes it easy for me to see who is ready and also keeps the students from writing all over their papers while they wait for other students to finish.  

I hand each student a paper for them to take back to their seats and while the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMARTBoard.  When all students have their pencils up, I say, "At the top of the paper there are our three vocabulary words: Roll, Slide and Stack.  Down the side are our shapes: Cone, Cylinder, Sphere and Cube.  Touch the first shape.  Touch the first shape.  What is this shape?" (A cone.) "In the first column, it says 'Roll.'  Does the cone roll?" (Yes.)  "Circle the word yes.  The next column says 'Slide.'  Does the cone slide?"  (Yes.)  "Circle the word yes."  The next column says 'Stack.'  Does a cone stack?"  (No.)  "Circle the word no."  We continue to work through the paper together.  I model with the shapes and which word to circle.  When the students are finished.  I have the students put this paper in their mailbox and put their head down.  When the a whole table of students is seated with their heads down, I call them up to get their center.


20 minutes

The centers for this week are:

Play dough Shapes (
Solid Shape Sort ( and Sorting Math)
Dramatic Play Shape Sort (
Roll and Cover Reindeer (
SMARTBoard Shapes Shoot (

I quickly circulate to make sure students are engaged and do not have any questions about how to complete the centers.   I pull three groups during centers.  I pull the first group for 10 minutes and the other two groups for 5 minutes each.  The first group is comprised of the students who were having trouble identifying numbers and matching the numbers to objects.  Even though we are working on shapes, I start with identifying and matching numbers to objects for this group since they need to master this skill.  I have a basic idea of who I want in each group based on recent assessments, but I also take into account how the students did in the whole group lesson.  I pull the students back to my small group table to do a reteach activity using flash cards and manipulatives (for this lesson I used people counters).  I show the flash cards and have students practice identifying the numbers.  I then give each student a pile of counters (1-10) and have them pick the number card that matches their group. 

I then put the wooden 3-dimensional shapes out on the table.  I hold up the cube and say "cube."  I pass the cube around the table and have each student say cube as they hold it.  I repeat this with each shape.  I hand each student a shape.  I call out a word (Roll, stack or slide).  The students put their shape down if it applies to that group.  The next two groups of students do just the activity with 3 dimensional shapes.  I do this much quicker for these groups.  Prior to clean up, I check in with each table to see how the centers are going.  I turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean.  Students clean up and return to their seats.


5 minutes

I close the lesson by having three students come up to model rolling, sliding, and stacking with the three-dimensional objects.  I mention positive things that I notice during centers.  I also include something that needs to be better next time.  I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we learned that some three-dimensional shapes can roll, slide and stack.  Tomorrow, we are going to learn more about the attributes of three-dimensional shapes!"