Sunday, February 26, 2012

Geometry Unit Study with Janice VanCleave's Geometry for Every Kid

Over the past few weeks, the girls have been expressing much more interest in learning about solid shapes.  During breaks they would gravitate to the shape manipulatives in the room.  They were genuinely interested, so we decided to take a little while and focus on geometry!

Geometry is one of my favorite math topics and easily adaptable to teaching to multiples.  My children range from early elementary through middle school and their learning abilities also very greatly.  Still, the tangible and artistic learning opportunities that can be done when studying geometry allow all to grasp the concepts in their own unique way.  This past weekend, I was able to put together a variety of resources and material to help along the way.


We will be using Janice VanCleave's Geometry for Every Kid as our guide. The flow is very logical, however there is not a lot of review practice so we will be adding extra practice when needed.  My eldest daughter will also be using Investigating with Power Solids. I used this text along with the accompanying manipulatives a year ago with my eldest child and I was amazed.  My son is a hands on learner and has  never done well with text books.  This kit allowed him to learn more than I thought he would grasp in a short period of time.  Speaking of hands on, here are a few of the things we will be using to make this as interactive an experience as possible:


We have Investigating Power Solids 3D kit.  This kit is opaque and the tops come off for studying volume.  We also have tangrams, assorted plane shapes, and geo boards.  The gum drops and tooth picks are for building polyhedrons (another of my sons favorite activities).  Finally, you will find math vocabulary cards.  I love these because often times I am able to teach the kids a concept but they sometimes don't understand vocabulary terms. To help them with this I have taken the vocabulary terms relevant to our study of geometry and created a ring of terms for them to study. I just punched holes in the cards and attached them to the ring.  


After putting these things together, we looked for some books to read along the way.  Here are a few of the books we gathered from our library trip.


After gathering resources, it was time to look at the notebooks.  Initially, I wanted to create lapbook pieces to go along with our books.  After careful consideration, I decided not to.  I realized that by creating the pieces myself, a great opportunity for my children to express them selves creatively would be lost.  Yet still, we needed a way to use lapbook pieces without spending too much time printing, cutting, and gluing during lesson time.  Thankfully, Jimmie from Jimmie's Collage created a Squidoo lens that solved our problem.  Check out  her lenses titled How to Plan a Lapbook.  Using the advice provided by Jimmie allowed us to create a great learning environment that works for us.  All of the materials needed are provided for the children to choose from to create the notes that they need.

At this point, the girls have really taken to this approach to studying Geometry.  Usually, math time is the hardest part of our day and this week has been just the opposite.  They have been eager to study math this week.  It has also been a lot less stressful on me as well.  I'll leave you with a peak into their notebooks.  They belong to my 2nd, 3rd, and 5th graders.  

Picnik collage

***For continuity purposes, I will be adding all new resources about this study to this post.  This will make it easier for you and I to find these resources when revisiting this topic.  I will note the date of these additions.

3/8/12: Geometry Unit Photos

3/8/12: Youtube playlist: Geometry


Online Resources:
Eclectic Homeschool Online: Geometry Unit Study
Geometry Unit Study  (Great lesson plan filled with free printables.)
Johnnie's Math Page- Geometry  (Geometry Interactives) (3D Nets for solids interactive) (3D Nets for solids interactive) (Shape interactive)
NLVM 3-5 Geometry Manipulatives (Geometry Interactives)
Math Open Reference- Geometry (Free online math refer0ence text.)
AAA Math- Geometry (Section on 2D and 3D shapes)
Mobius Strip Power Point Presentation
Escher Teacher Guide  (Free printable guide showing geometry in art.  Lots of activities.)

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