As natural observers of their world, children recognize shapes and patterns long before they learn the names of each shape. Encourage the recognition and identification of shapes through the various exercises in this week’s newsletter.
One of the most widely used shapes is the triangle. Triangles connect at different angles and positions to form everything from squares and rectangles to rhombuses and hexagons. Inspire the exploration of triangles through the use of the Constructive Blue Triangles Set. This constructive triangles box allows children to explore freely and is the perfect introduction to shape building and exploration for younger members of the classroom.
Teachers can demonstrate how to slide the triangles together using different sides to create a plethora of new shapes. Children are often excited to try this work and are inspired to problem solve when the triangle creates a shape other than what is expected.
Often, this work leads to long moments of concentration and can help lengthen the time a child focuses on one specific work. Extend the lesson by inviting the child to trace the outline of the new shape with a pencil on paper.
Learning more about shapes has two effects on language. First, learning shapes prepares the mind for visual recognition. Through the use of various works in the sensorial area of the classroom and the metal insets, children begin to learn how to recognize the shapes of letters and numbers, which helps them with reading, mathematics and writing in the future.
Second, learning the names for shapes teaches the base for many other words within our language. For example, the names of the polygons teach children the prefixes of “tri”, “oct” and “hex” to name a few. These prefixes come up throughout reading and will help children understand how to decode tricky words in the future.
Practice the naming of shapes through the Shapes 3-Part Wood Tile Cards. This work is a wonderful extension and is an easy lesson to put out on your sensorial shelf next to the geometric cabinet.
For the youngest members of your classroom, add shape puzzles to provide didactic explorations that are fun and easy to change out on a regular basis. The Pull Along Shape Sorting Truck and Carousel Shape Sorter provide exciting ways to sort shapes. Add more complexity with the Multi-Layer Nesting Wood Geometric Shapes Puzzle and the Design-A-Tile Geometric Block Puzzle.
This Week’s worksheet explores matching shapes to items and patterns found in the real world.