Thursday 1 November 2018

Fun With Geometry in Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary children are working on 2D & 3D solids and their properties.  After each presentation or lesson, the  teacher asks the students to "record their lesson". In Montessori, recording a lesson means a child reflects and writes down what they just learned - not from a blackboard, but from their own understanding and their own mind.  Kids display a lot of creativity when it comes to recording lessons. 

Saleem drew whatever a shape reminded him of. Cloud is a figure, pizza slice is a polygon, a waffle has crossed polygon pattern inside: Muhsin went on to write a story. He's in this story writing mode Masha Allah.

Then there was a class on polygons and figures; and classifying them as convex, concave and closed. While some described the things around them as these categories, another wrote a story about polygons, a cute little animated representation of the lesson including a fun activity was the icing on the cake.
For consolidating the learning on 3D solids, we introduced the Jodo- straws, a lovely material from Jodo Gyan in the environment for kids to have fun with polygons and shapes. It was an exciting hour of discovering the various "gons" and "hedrons". 

While the girls patiently tried their hands at the tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedron, dodecahedron, rhombic dodecahedron, the boys had fun making polygon cars, brigdes, eco- friendly polygon houses.

Then we've been also introducing geometric solid puzzles - a star shape, tessellations.  Kids wander around pick a puzzle and then get absorbed. 

They experiment with patterns. Struggle with a puzzle to figure out how to reassemble it once they've dismantled it.  Kids have made some wonderful observations and have deep questions "What shape will form inside the solid?" "How many faces will it have?"

When given the freedom to express the work presented in their own styles, it unleashes the creativity in kids.And stays with them for a long, long time. 

By Rafia Riaz

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