Henry: I need a cube.
Henry: Can you hand me a cube?
Harriette: What’s a cube?
Henry: This. (points to a cube shaped bead)
Esther: I have a sphere.
Harriette: I found a cone.
Please remember this was the very first introduction to beads on the second day of school. We have not had any discussions pertaining to geometric properties or three-dimensional shapes. This is an excellent example of spontaneous peer teaching and learning.
While talking about castles last week, we learned a very exciting, new “math word”: symmetrical. We were planning our sand castles when we realized that most of us wanted both sides of the building to look the same. I pointed out that our bodies were also symmetrical. After practicing symmetry with blocks on the carpet, we got right to work on the important task of sand castle construction.
To create our structures, we used a variety of wooden blocks dipped in white paint. We made prints using the blocks working from the inside to the outer edges. Sometimes we had to “double-dip” the blocks to make sure that we picked up enough paint so that our prints would remain wet for a little while. After the students completed their designs, they chose colored sand to shake over them. The first few chose one color each while the last few preferred rainbow coloring and used a bit of all of the colors.