Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Visit to the Solid Shape Museum

Last week we wrapped up our geometry unit with our Solid Shape Museum.  This activity is a favorite of mine.
I often change activities from year to year.  I guess I'm always looking to see if some new approach might be better than another.  But, the Solid Shape Museum has been a keeper.
The Solid Shape Museum is fun for students, it gives them a chance to tie-in real world examples to our math, and it is a fabulous assessment tool.  It's a  win-win-win.
Not that, over the years, I haven't tweaked how we've done our Museum.  For example, this year I added some shapes, to the ones students had to bring to class.  I also changed the recording sheet students completed at the finale of the Museum.  But, by in large, the concept of the Solid Shape Museum has stayed consistent.

Here's how it works...
Students bring in "real world" objects that represent the 3D shapes we've been studying in class.  Some shapes are easier to find than others.  As you can see from the picture above, triangular pyramids and square pyramids were particularly challenging to find.  Which is fine.  Seeing the difference in the number of objects brought in led to an interesting class discussion.
Students take turns presenting their objects.  They tell what the object is and tell what shape it represents.  Then they place the object in the correct category in the Museum.

After all the presentations conclude.  Students complete a recording sheet by choosing one object for each shape to illustrate and label.
I told them they could pick any object they wanted to illustrate.  They didn't just have to illustrate their own objects.  That way, if a students didn't bring in items, they still could participate in this part of the activity.

If you would like a free copy of the parent note, recording sheet, and signs that I used for our Solid Shape Museum, click here.

Like I mentioned before, we do the Solid Shape Museum at the end of our geometry unit.  For the weeks leading up to the Museum, we are working hard to learn about 2D and 3D shapes.
Our geometry unit consists of read alouds, hands-on centers, and independent assignments.
As my students progress toward mastering these geometry skills, they truly benefit from having visuals, such as anchor charts and models, around the room.  (If you would like a free copy of the 3D shape mini anchor charts pictured below, you can click here.)

They also really benefit from having hands-on models of 3D shapes to complete tasks in class.  Students need to put that their hands on shapes to really understand faces, edges, and vertices on 3D shapes.

I bought a class set of 3D shapes from Oriental Trading.  There are enough shapes (240 pieces in all) in this set for each student to have each shape.  These shapes are a huge help when students are working with a partner or working independently on 3D shape tasks.
How else would students actually test if shapes can stack, slide, or roll?  Before I had a class set of shapes, I would use my teacher set to demonstrate stack, slide, or roll.  Now, students can do it on their own.  I love this set of shapes.  It was $20 well spent.

If you are looking for more ideas and activities to use in class for your study of geometry, you may way to check out my Shape By Shape {Hands-On Activities with 2D & 3D Shapes}.  This set of activities focuses on 2D and 3D shapes.  It includes, anchor charts, eight centers (with recording sheets), and a game of I Have. Who Has?  
For more details, you can click here or on the picture below.

Geometry can be a really fun unit in math.  Adding real world connections and hands-on experiences help students grasp these important concepts in a fun and engaging way.