Sunday, March 18, 2012

Introducing 3-D Shapes

 "hey mom! that's a rectangular...rect... what's it called again?"
"hey, those are those cylinder things" "columns?" "yea!"
"there's a pyramid on top of that building!"

I've been really excited to share these activities with you the past month or so. It is one of the first times I had to legitimately teach something using a three step sequence for Bear. I started by introducing names to some common three dimensional shapes- rectangular prism, sphere, pyramid. I also purchased these shapes from Montessori Outlet. I tend to make as much as I can, but for the price, these are great. They are small though! (Just a heads up)

We are still introducing a lot of the other "terms" for the shapes. 

Here's the list I have that we are introducing:
sphere, cube, rectangular prism, 
ovoid, ellipsoid, triangular prism,
cone, cylinder, triangular pyramid
square pyramid

We extended the activity by building. My husband (Joe) brought home some great cardboard tubes we used to add height. We also used some boxes in different shapes I had saved. 

The blocks we have Joe painstakingly made a couple years ago with a saw and some sandpaper. They are by far our favorite toy and we will enjoy them for a long long time. I'd recommend making your own if you can, we spent $20 on high quality wood and a couple of hours one afternoon. 

The colorful ones are from a clearance bin at target. 

Bear's computer skills have surpassed anything I could have imagined for a four year old so I was super excited to introduce him to Google SketchUp. You can download it for free. It is used mainly for building three dimensional buildings/images. I love it because you start with a two dimensional shape- like a circle- and using some of the tools you can make it into a cylinder or sphere. Same for squares and rectangles. It's a perfect way to expand upon basic shapes. I'd recommend taking some time to familiarize yourself with the program to help out a little. I had a hard time (this is not my cup of tea) so Joe helped out a ton showing Bear how to use the program. 

Here's one of his designs:

Find some more great ideas and activities at Montessori Monday.

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