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 100by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.
I begin the lesson by reviewing our shapes chart. We review the names and attributes of all the shapes we have done so far (circle, triangle, square, rectangle). Then we seized the moment and moved on to creating our hexagon poster.
Me (holding up a hexagon die cut): What do we call this shape?
Me: Well, what makes this shape a hexagon? 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 hexagon has __________."
Student 1: The hexagon has six 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 hexagon.)
Student: The points are called corners (some say vertex or angle - any is accepted)
Me: What else makes this shape a hexagon? What else can you tell me about it?
Student 2: The hexagon has six 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 hexagon has six corners and six sides (I number the sides of the hexagon on the chart. Having students count with you as the sides are labelled helps keep students focused on the key attributes of the shape.)
We then add the hexagon to our shapes chart and fill in the the attributes portion of All Shapes Poster.
Next we took a few minutes to compare hexagons, triangles, 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.
I provide the students with plastic hexagons (Magnatiles and Attribute Blocks from Lakeshore Learning). They trace the hexagons on blank copy paper to get a "feeling" for them. I invite the kids to trace random hexagons, or use them to make a picture (for my higher-level learners).
I then have them circle the angles of the hexagons and number them on each one they have traced. I have them number the sides of each hexagon. My higher level kids have the challenge of recognizing that when two or more hexagons are touching, they share sides.
We gather on the floor and share our hexagon projects with our talking partners.
Classroom Management Tip: Think-Pair-Share (TPS) is a great way to get kids to share their thinking with each other without fear or stress. Once the kids have shared their thoughts with each other, they feel much more at ease about sharing with the whole group.
I have provided a Hexagon tracing page if you do not have tracing blocks for the kids to use.
We spend a few minutes discussion what we learned about squares.
One student brings up the fact that when she put a bunch of hexagons together they make a bees' house inside (her words).
These observations tell me that this student may need additional extension activities as we investigate the rest of the shapes. I know from this that she is advanced in geometric thinking compared to the rest of the class. Tangram pictures is a perfect extension activity. She will either play with real tangrams and a tangram picture book, or online at Tangram Puzzles for Kids by ABCya!
With this exit ticket I check to see if the kids can identify hexagons. I have them hunt for the hexagons and color them in.
Once students 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.
The exit ticket is located in the resource section of Tracing Hexagons.