The fourth of our Reggio-inspired mathematics kits was enjoyed by the Kindergarten and Grade 1 students in Lauren MacLean’s classroom at Blair Elementary on Tuesday afternoon.
The materials arrive in a bin, including cork mats and baskets. This kit includes a variety of two and three-dimensional geometric shapes and is intended to be supplemented with materials from the classroom such as building blocks, pattern blocks, etc.
The materials were spread out over four tables – shape sticks (inspired by a blog post found here), 3D wood shapes, shape puzzles and pattern blocks. The picture books from the kit were placed on the carpet for students to have a look at.
As the students engaged with the materials, they were prompted with a question that has a curricular focus at these grade levels – How can we combine shapes to make new shapes?
We also introduced Osmo for the iPad and the students used the Tangram app. Three Osmo devices are now available through loan through our District Resource Centre (DRC) and I have two that I can share with classrooms.
One of the things I like most about Osmo is that it fosters collaboration, problem-solving and creative & critical thinking. I love seeing a small group of children huddled around the Osmo/iPad combo, trying to figure something out together as Lauren’s little ones did, solving tangram puzzles.
One of the great new features of the Words app for Osmo is that you can create your own photo albums so the students in this class helped me take photographs of all sorts of shapes which we will create a photo album with to play Words with.
The students came together and we shared how we combined different shapes together to make new shapes or things. We talked a bit about the materials and how math materials help us learn about shapes but that if we looked around we could see shapes everywhere in our world. The students were so curious and I could see their eyes wandering all over the classroom, noticing and pointing out shapes that they could see, leading to our next inquiry – What shapes can we see and how are shapes important in our world?