Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2D Geometry Games {Common Core Math Activities}

 My school is very focused on improving our students' math vocabulary. When I created my 2D Geometry Unit I strived to create activities that would provide ample opportunities for the students to practice and use the related vocabulary words throughout our daily Math Workshop

During my small group instruction time I introduced the a game called, "Pick a Polygon." I printed out 2 sets of figure cards (you could use one, but I doubled it because I was using it with a small group instead of the usual 2-4 players). I then decorated a bag label and placed the cards inside. 

Pick a Polygon is a great game for increasing the use of math vocabulary. I had small groups of students join me to play. I placed all of the cards into a paper bag (you can also use a bowl, Pringles can, or box). The students took turns drawing a card and showing it to the group. 

If the card was a polygon they kept  it. I asked them questions about the number of sides, vertices, and angles. Before moving on, I engaged the group in discussions about the figure on the card.  I had some students determine if there were parallel or perpendicular lines. I had others talk about right, acute and obtuse angles. Sometimes I asked them to prove it was a polygon.

If the card was not a polygon they explained why, kept that card out of the bag and returned all of their previous;y drawn cards to the bag. This was a fun activity that provided me with a chance to informally assess their knowledge and allowed the students to learn from each other while they played. I was thrilled with the language they were using to talk about the figures. The repeated exposure to the cards really provided a fun way for them to reinforce both the vocabulary and the criteria for polygons.

After that Math Workshop I added it to future workshops as a game for them to play without my direct supervision.  As I listened in I noted that they continued to use lots of vocabulary when playing on their own.

{Click to access and download the 2D Geometry 13 Product Bundle

I also created a Geometry Trivia Game called, "The Polygon Trail." The Polygon Trail is a game designed to get kids thinking and talking about polygons. I had an adult stay at this station during Math Workshop and facilitate the game. We broke the math group into two teams and had them place a marker (we used unifix cubes) onto the starting square and select one of the cards. The teachers shuffled the cards and placed them face down on the table. The two teams took turns drawing a card. Each card contains “trivia” quaestions about polygons and informs the players how many spaces to move. The cards include images of polygons that the students are asked to name as well as questions such as, “How many sides are on an octagon?” and “What do we call a polygon with 5 sides?”  This was a fun way to reinforce the skills we had been focused on and also provided a wonderful opportunity to informally assess student knowledge.

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