Mathematics Foundation: 4 - Geometry

Topic: M4.2 - Exhibit ability to identify, describe, analyze, compare, and create shapes

Understanding the structure of geometric shapes will allow children to learn to reason with shapes and their attributes, understand the common language of shapes (i.e. spatial sense), the basic properties of shapes (number of sides, corners, squares) and their similarities and differences.

The development of spatial analysis skills leads to:
*Ability to identify different shapes, letters, and numbers
*Ability to recognize and draw geometric shapes based on the shapes specified attributes (i.e. number of angles)
*Understanding how geometric shapes are useful in representing real-life situations.

Looking Ahead to Kindergarten Family Engagement Special Populations
In kindergarten, students will compare two and three dimensional shapes in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, and parts (K.G.2). Additionally, students will compose simple geometric shapes to form larger shapes (K.G.4). Encourage families to:

*Read books about shapes.
*Point out similarities and differences between circles and balls, squares and blocks.
*Use bath time as a learning time. A set of stacking cups can be a great tool to learn how to nest the cups within each other, and how to stack them on the edge of the tub.

Educators can:

*Ensure that children with different physical abilities are able to comfortably play or engage in activities.
*Provide books and puzzles or materials at different ability levels.

Powerful Practices
Across all developmental stages, educators can:

*Provide toys or manipulatives in a variety of shapes to encourage the construction of additional shapes.
*Provide open-ended materials (e.g. pipe cleaners, straws, or craft sticks) and encourage children to use these to make shapes. Discuss the shapes they make (e.g. “That’s a triangle. *How could you turn it into a square?”).
*Provide materials to show how 3-D objects can be made into 2-D objects and 2-D to 3-D. *Children will see the 2-D flat shapes that make up the 3-D sides of the objects.
*Share documentation (photos, conversations) from work with blocks, shapes and numbers and letters (e.g. "We noticed today that the letters O and Q are circles.").

Infant

Facilitate engagement with materials that enable children to explore shapes (e.g. nesting cups)

Younger Toddler
Facilitate engagement with materials that enable children to explore shapes (e.g. basic shape sorter, shape puzzles)

Provide several of the same shaped objects for children to match (e.g. “Can you find the other square block that looks like this one?”)

Older Toddler
Draw attention to objects that are the same shape but different sizes or orientations in books or the environment

Provide materials for matching (e.g. felt pieces, play dough, stacking cups, advanced shape sorter)

Encourage children to find shapes that match or look the same within the environment

Younger Preschool
Engage in conversation about the names and attributes of shapes

Use environmental opportunities to identify attributes of shapes and match similar shapes (e.g. shape walk to search for spheres)

Provide materials (e.g. pipe cleaners, straws, or craft sticks) as materials children can use to make into shapes. Discuss the shapes they make. (e.g. “That’s a triangle. How could you turn it into a square?”)

Provide materials to dip 3-D objects (e.g cans, spools, candles, etc) in paints and press them on paper to make 2-D prints

Older Preschool
Engage in conversation comparing and contrasting the attributes of shapes including non-perfect examples of shapes (e.g. compare different types of triangles and rectangles)

Provide materials to deconstruct shapes for exploration (e.g. as you cut a cereal box, ask “How many rectangles are there in the box?” Then ask children how to put the box back together.)