Thinking back to my days in Geometry (and even before) it was always a struggle for me. There were so many concepts to connect together in such a short amount of time and it truly overwhelmed me. I never had a chance to investigate things with manipulatives longer than maybe a 20 minutes time span and never in high school when I truly needed it. Geometry quickly became my least favorite topic and even stayed that way once I became a teacher simply because of my past experiences.
When Geometiles contacted me and asked if I would like to take some time to play and learn with their 96 piece set, I jumped on the chance because I knew that while geometry was struggle for me and my students, that many of you also had this same struggle.
When I first got the box I was excited to open it and check out all that it included as they were brand new to me. Once I opened the box I started getting all kinds of ideas on what I could then build with the different shapes that are included. With the way that the tiles click together they can easily create two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional objects. With these concepts just scratching the surface, Geometiles has also created an online resource library on lessons to use the tiles with learning about angles, ratios, teaching FRACTIONS (yes, fractions), and then also exploring Platonic and Archimedean solids.
While starting to play with these I simply just played in the beginning. I allowed myself to create objects of various shapes and sizes to get experience with how the tiles worked together. Once I had my grasp I decided to download the Shape Challenge Workbook for Fourth Grade and up. When I first started looking at it I was quickly reminded of the Lego books that come with all the various sets.
The challenges provided in this workbook are each open-ended and would be GREAT for a STEM Bin for your classroom. The questions grow in complexity and begin as simple as “Make a square in four different sizes.” and then it builds up to asking, “Make a quadrilateral that has no lines of symmetry and none of whose sides are parallel to each other.” Both of these require knowledge of geometric vocabulary and thinking beyond just drawing with a pencil.
If you are looking for something to add to your classroom manipulatives, or even maybe in your own home, I would definitely check out the different packages available of Geometiles as they are a component I recommend for all grades!
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