September 26, 2002
Today we worked on the first lesson in the Intro to Geometry Unit, Activity 1: Describe the Shape. The manipulatives activity went differently from the original lesson. First, I distributed a set of pattern blocks to each student. The set consists of a square, triangle, rhombus, parallelogram, trapezoid, and hexagon. I also gave each student a paper that had each pattern block drawn and labeled. I noticed that some of the students took the initiative to match their pattern blocks with the drawings on the paper.
As a matter of fact, that was the first activity. After the students matched the shapes, I displayed each shape individually on the overhead. I asked the children to hold up the same shape and tell me something about it. In their descriptions I heard colors, corners, sides, points, lines. Students could identify the triangle and square.
After talking about each shape, the students colored the shapes on their papers to match the manipulatives. The lesson went well with the large group. The students assisted each other without displaying the correct shape. There was also a discussion about what color should they use for the tan parallelogram. Some used brown while others used their pencil. I left the decision up to them.
October 1, 2002
Today we brought the children down to the computer lab. The students in the fifth grade class that had been in the lab, opened the computers to the new student page in preparation for my kindergartners. The children clicked on the pattern block icon and went to the applet. Because the students had previously practiced using the pattern blocks in the classroom, it was easy for the children to find the pattern block symbol on the student page.
I wanted the children to practice selecting a shape and dragging it on to the grid. So I called out shapes at random to see if the children could identify them. Most of the students experienced very little difficulty. On a few occasions, there were students that didn't know the trapezoid. However, someone in the class knew just by mentioning the color. After the children went through a few examples of clicking on shapes and dragging, they had an opportunity to make a design using the pattern blocks on the computer.
The students worked on a paper and pencil activity in the classroom. I gave each student a copy of the grid, one of each shape and crayons. I think the paper was too busy for them. Some attempted to trace the blocks on the grid and color while others tried to color the little triangles. They had trouble seeing the embedded shapes on the grid.