Sunday, May 29, 2016

Shapes and More Shapes

Students were excited to show me what they know about 3D shapes, using PicCollage!    I was inspired to do this activity after seeing it on another teacher's technology blog.  Check it out!

Each table took a turn on a different day to go on a shape hunt around the classroom and the school.  They wore a necklace to tell what they were looking for, in case someone stopped to see what they were up to.  Common Core asks students to identify the 3D shapes of cube, sphere, cone, cylinder.  I also threw in pyramids and prisms for a bonus!    


Here's how we did this project:
1.  I set the iPad timer for 10 minutes, then they opened the camera app and away they went.
2.  Upon return to the classroom, students opened PicCollage and inserted as many pictures as they had from their hunt, and arranged them how they wanted.
3.  Students added text, copying the shape names from the necklace for accuracy.  They were free to choose font style and color.
4.  Add their name, then save!

I uploaded all the shape posters to Dropbox, where I could then share a link to the folder with parents.  I truly feel like this activity reinforced the names of each shape so they could tell them to me more easily for our trimester assessments.  Great job, kids!  Check out their amazing posters below!


As you can see, they found some surprising shapes all around.  Some are awesome examples!  Some I had to remind them that "3D shapes are fat, not flat", like the song we learned.  But for the most part, they did amazing work!  Items found included lunch boxes, spotlights on the bulletin board, playground balls, milk crates, trash barrels, and wood blocks from our classroom.  Many students took pictures of the clocks in the hall and wanted to call it a sphere, but we discussed the shape is really more of two circles on each end of a cylinder, and they thought that was cool!

My school recently began the journey of using devices 1:1 with students, and we are learning about the "Triple E" framework.  It's important when planning technology integration to give some thought to whether or not the activity extends, enhances, and/or engages.  

I believe this 3D shape poster activity did all 3:
Extend - bridge between school learning and everyday experiences (finding everyday objects for a school activity)
Enhance - students developed a more sophisticated understanding of the content of shapes, and demonstrate their learning in a non-traditional way
Engage - definitely ACTIVE learning, and motivating!

I will continue to develop activities like this and help my colleagues do the same.  Next year having a device for each student will be wonderful!  Although an activity such as this, it is definitely easier helping a small group, even though many were super independent.  I really only had to help with making sure things were saved then uploaded to Dropbox.  Next year, with more practice, and with each student logged into their own email account, sharing with me will be easier instead of me touching each device over and over to be sure I have sent the document where it needs to go.  Can't wait!