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Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting back into shape

Last week, we went over 2 and 3-dimensional shapes in class. This is usually a fun, though confusing topic for the kids. They enjoy identifying shapes -- they just tend to identify them incorrectly for quite a while. For instance, anything that is round, they want to call either a circle or a sphere. Clocks, tires, pennies. If it's a long skinny cylinder, they know it's a cylinder. But the short and squat cylinders, like the aforementioned clock et al, they see round and think sphere.

But we're getting there. Even though Thursday was the coldest day of the year so far, we took our designated "shapes walk" outside. The kids had made flip books with doors for 6 of the major 3-dimensional shapes, and we walked around the sidewalk outside of the school, looking for real-life objects that met those shapes.

In addition to being cold, Thursday was also a short day, because teachers had extended horizontal planning in the afternoon, so we didn't get to walk a complete circuit around the school. It's a shame, because there's a perfectly cone-shaped tree on one side, and pyramids on the playground.

Nevertheless, the kids got a thrill from seeing telephone poles, roofs, fire hydrants, stop signs, etc, and shouting out what shape they were.

At first, some of them wanted to spend more time complaining about how cold it was rather than looking for shapes. I told them to suck it up. OK, well, not in those words.

I asked if they would rather freeze their spheres off looking for shapes or slink our sorry cylinders back into the rectangular prism and sit on our butts til they were 2-dimensional.

OK, so I didn't use THOSE words either. But ultimately, it was agreed upon that a bit of cold was a fair trade off for the great outdoors.

And the really great thing about the week? Nobody got any toothpicks stuck in their ass!


Melissa B. said...

Ah, me. That's why I teach high school. I'm allowed to say a few of those words out loud...

Mister Teacher said...

Must be nice. Must be nice.