Each year, after we learn about properties and numbers, we dive into shape fun. I think it's the perfect time to learn about shapes- it's fun, and even the struggling kids enjoy it. I enjoy planning activities to let the kids work with both solid and flat shapes. We use manipulatives and play games and just generally have fun while learning.
We use Engage New York for our math program, and it's definitely not my favorite. It doesn't hit certain areas very hard, such as shapes, which is a topic Kindergarten students love. So I have to supplement with some other things I've found or used before, so that I can make sure my students really understand whatever concept we're studying. We do fun activities in centers to give them hands-on experiences with whatever we're learning. And the same goes for Shapes.
For example, I really love these Pattern Block Puzzles from our old math program, Investigations. I pulled them out to let the kids experiment with filling in the pictures with different shapes. And if they used too many hexagons, I made them fill in that space with other shapes.
Another fun activity we did was make our own pattern block pictures. They made the pictures with pattern blocks, and then they used paper pattern blocks to glue their creations to the paper. Then they got to draw things to add to their pictures, such as clouds or eyes, to make them more realistic.
They made people and trees and flowers.
I love seeing how creative they can be!
They also loved this "5-in-a-Row Shapes game. You use a regular 6-dot die for this game. The kids roll the die and cover a shape that has the same number of sides as the die they rolled. They cover the shape. The first player to get 5 in a row wins.
I like this game because there is a little bit of strategy to it. If you aren't careful of which pieces you cover, you won't win, because you can't move the piece once you've set it down. So you have to choose which shape you are going to cover, since there are multiples of each shape on the board.
Another great game I pulled out from our old Investigations curriculum is called "Build the Hexagons." The kids roll dice with shapes on it, and they have to fill their hexagons with that shape. They have to figure out which shapes will fill their hexagons without anything overlapping or not fitting within the bounds of the hexagon. This is a great way to see which shapes fill a hexagon that are not hexagons.
(I found a freebie of this game from Shari Sloane at www.kidscount1234.com. Just do a google search for "fill the hexagons" and it should pop up. I couldn't find a link on her website to download it from, but if you search, it pulls up!)
I noticed that some of my students were struggling with understanding if some objects were solid shapes or flat shapes. So I made some sorting cards so we could practice sorting shapes by different attributes. The kids all got a shape card and they got to come up one at at time to sort their picture and tell me why it fits in that category.
We did this several times.
We sorted by shapes.
We sorted by whether or not a shape is a solid or flat shape. We also sorted by curved and flat sides, rolls or doesn't roll, and stacks or doesn't stack. We did this as a whole group, but you could also do it as a center.
You can find the "5-in-a-Row Shapes" game, the "Spin and Cover" game, the sorting cards, and MORE in this shape activity pack available in my store.