Teacher2Teacher Q&A #18606

Right angles

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From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 08, 2007 at 15:31:35
Subject: Re: Right angles

Hi, Cathy -- Thanks for writing to T2T. Good question. I wouldn't use protractors, or even "degrees" terminology with children that young. I'd use lots of examples. Show them squares and non-squares. Get them to articulate what they see as the difference. Attribute blocks and pattern blocks might come in handy. Have them sort shapes. I think "square corner" (K) and "right angle" (late gr 1) are good vocabulary to develop. Have them find examples of squares and right angles in the classroom. Make a game out of it, similar to "I Spy." I'd start with a visual approach and then introduce the vocabulary. By superimposing squares and rectangles of different sizes, matching up a corner, you can help them start to understand the concept of angle, and the idea that the size of angles is independent of the lengths of the sides. Make sure not to give the impression that a square is not a rectangle. It's a special kind of rectangle. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Also, present shapes in different orientations, so they understand, e.g., that a square is still a square, even if it is tilted onto a corner. I hope this is helpful. Please write again if you have more questions. -Claire, for the T2T service

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