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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The shape of things to come

Today was truly an exercise in patience. As usual, I found myself wanting...

Since we discussed and classified 2-dimensional shapes yesterday -- and the explanation for yesterday's debacle was merely, "I sat on it" -- today we talked about 3-dimensional shapes. Not only did we talk about them, I gave each student a net to cut out and paste together to create a geometric figure.

My morning class (MUCH easier to handle) did pretty well. The only real problem was convincing the kids that their finished product should look like one of the pre-made shapes on my counter, and NOT like a wadded up Kleenex. Sure, a wadded up Kleenex is, technically, three-dimensional, but that's not the point of the lesson.

Then came the afternoon class. Before I could even get the kids started on cutting out the nets, I had to stop several times to review scissor safety and how you do NOT clip the shears back and forth in front of your face. I then had to place not one, but TWO kids in time out for immediately clipping the shears back and forth in front of their faces.

After the kids had created their figures, I began the unenviable task of coaxing them to explore the attributes. How many faces? What 2-D shapes are the faces? How many edges? How many vertices?

As usual, I had about 4 kids that were actively participating and trying to answer the questions while the others did their best showroom window mannequin impersonation.

Finally, the end of the day came around and it was time to dismiss the kids. As I called them to line up, the first boy in line held out the metal part of a pen that holds the tip in place. He said, "Look, this is a cone."

I tend to be a very impatient person and I will be the first to declare that I am SOO ready for a break from this year, this school, these kids.

However, in that moment right before dismissal, one child demonstrated that he HAD learned something today and that he could apply that knowledge to a real-world object.

It's always nice to be reassured that SOMETHING is working...


a learning teacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
learning teacher said...

Thank goodness for that pen tip! I've had some of those moments lately, when a kindergartener who appears to be merely avoiding work pipes up with something pertinent, like noticing one of our sight words in a random place! That kind of thing can save the day:)