## Learning Fun With Pattern Blocks

1-2-3 Come Do Some Pattern Block Activities With Me

Pattern blocks are a wonderful manipulative for all sorts of activities, and introduce students to a few more geometric shapes, like the rhombus and trapezoid. My Y5s especially enjoyed lying on their tummies and making long lines of various patterns. (ABAB, ABBA, ABC-ABC etc.)

Not that we need anymore "to do" things added to an already overwhelming list, but as long as your kiddos are playing with pattern blocks, they might as well learn the names of them. This is easily done through repetition and simply allowing children to play with them.

Adding a few posters, so students can see the pattern block pictures throughout the day, is an easy reminder of these new shapes.  Click on the link to view/download the Pattern Block Poster.

I also made a set of Giant Pattern Block blackline templates.  Simply run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper, laminate and trim.

Punch a hole in the top and hang from the ceiling with paperclip hooks or clothespins, so that you can easily switch their positions.  Choose 4 of the more difficult shapes and hang one in each corner.

The hexagon, trapezoid, rhombus and triangle, were the "toughies" for my kiddos. At the end of the day we played the game 4-Corners, which helped them practice those shapes in a fun way.

Another poster is a pattern block optical illusion.  Do you think the trapezoid on the top is bigger?  Chances are your students will think so, but it really isn't.  Both pieces are the same size.  Print and trim the pieces on a sheet of red construction paper to prove it to them.  Click on the link to grab it.

I've also designed a set of pattern cards for your pocket chart, with a matching blackline booklet your kiddos can make.

There's also a set of Counting With Pattern Blocks, perfect for your pocket chart as well.  I've included a blackline template so you can make worksheets, or use as a center.

Practice counting, sequencing, making groups, plus numbers and number words, with the Pattern Block Number Booklet.

Make a laminated booklet for your math center and have students use dry erase markers to fill in the information,  or make a booklet for each child and have them work on a page a day. I've included two cover options.

Instead of placing real pattern blocks on the pages, they can draw them, glue (Ellison Die Cut ) paper pieces, or paste on stickers.

If you'd like some pattern block stickers (They do exhist!) you can find them over at purefunsupply.com They come 900 in a package for just \$8.68.

Want to play some games with pattern blocks? Click on the link for a variety of spinner and dice games using pattern blocks

I also made Rack Up A Stack. Students roll the dice to see which pattern block they need to stack on their mat.

A second roll, tells them how many of that pattern block they need to stack. Stacks can get pretty high if they keep rolling the same number.

If their stack falls, children put only the spilled pieces back in the pile.

The child with the most pieces stacked in one pattern block column can be the winner, or the one with the most stacks, or the one with the most total number of pattern blocks stacked.

To practice addition, give students the point value card, so they can add up the points in each stack, as well as a grand total.  I've made the easier-to-stack pieces worth only 1 point, for easy counting, as well as higher point values for pattern blocks that are more difficult to stack.

I've purposely given these values of 2, 3 and 5 points, so that students can practice their skip counting skills. There's a recording sheet for them to show their work.   Click on the link to grab it. Rack Up A Stack: Pattern Block game.

Another game challenge, is to have students use the pattern blocks to see how many ways they can make a hexagon.  I chose this shape because it's a standard for many, and often a "toughie" shape to remember for lots of kiddos.  Click on the link for the Hexagon Challenge With Pattern Blocks packet.

As with anything we studied, I liked to throw in some hands-on "craftivity" as another way to immerse my kiddos in whatever concept we were working on.

With that in mind, I made Pattern Block Pals.  (Blockheads!) I think they turned out pretty cute and hope you like them too.

There are blank pattern block "head" templates, so your students can draw on their own faces, ones with a traceable word on them, plus ones with sweet faces.

They look great as a border, bulletin board, or suspended from the ceiling against a hallway wall.  As a writing extension, have students list things on the back of their blockhead that also have that shape.

For example, on the back of a rhombus students could list kites, jewelry etc.  Older students can mark an X on each corner and then count and record the vertices on the back.

A caption for your display could be: "Mrs. Henderson's Kinders Are Really Shaping Up." Click on the link to view/download the Pattern Block Pals packet.

Wow! That's a lot of pattern block options.  I hope you found something that's just right for you.  Thanks for visiting today.

The sun is trying to peek out, and dispite the fact that it's snowing again (boo hiss) I may venture out.  It's March and time for Mother Nature to realize that winter weather should make way for springtime!  Wishing you a magical day.

"Manners are the basic building blocks of civil society." -Alexander McCall Smith

## Sweet Tricks and Treats That Teach

1-2-3 Come Study -ick and -eat Word Families and Shapes With Me

Here's a word family trick for helping teach Common Core, that's a real treat, as you'll  be covering the Phonological Awareness Common Core State Standards: RF.K2a, RF.K2c and RF.K2e  in a quick, easy and fun way.

Here's How: Run off my template with the adorable Laura Strickland trick or treaters on it. You can use the treat bag just as it is, or you can cut off the top of a brown paper lunch bag, so that it fits on the back of this treat bag, and glue it on.

It's a bit more difficult to manipulate the strips, but worth the extra effort as it's truly a functional bag for doing other things with, which I'll explain later.

Pre cut the top & bottom dashed lines of the squares. (I use an Exacto knife.) Insert letter strips, so students can make new words.

I’ve also included traceable word flashcards, so students can practice the words in yet another way.  There's a cover if you want them to alphabetize the words and then make an Itty Bitty booklet.

When they have finished cutting & tracing their word cards, they can drop them in the bag when they are done.  Students write their name on the side of the bag. You can punch holes and put in real yarn for handles if you want a more 3-D effect.

After everyone has completed their bag, call on students to pull their strips to make the various sentences. Children read them in unison.  There'll probably be a few giggles as they say “Wick or wheat”, “Sick or seat” "Chick or cheat" and “Kick or heat.” etc.

Make sure the last one they read is “Trick or Treat!”  Drop a piece of candy corn, or a sticker, or special treat in their bag as a reward for their great effort!

You can also play “I Have; Who Has?” with the word cards.  Make a copy of the word cards and do not cut them out. Post these pages on the board.  Make another copy and laminate them.  Cut these out.  Put them in your Trick or Treat bag and have students choose cards ‘til they are all gone.

You read an –ick card and ask for an -eat card on the list. The –eat child reads their card. Both children say their “–ick or –eat!” sentence together. Those cards go in the bag. Play continues ‘til all of the cards are gone.

The packet also includes a poster that says: How many words can you make using the letters in Trick or treat?" plus a recording sheet and alphabetical list of 158 words that I thought of.

Finally, after doing this trick or treat-themed activity, you may want to review 2D and 3D shapes using my candy shape posters.

There are 17 Candy Shape posters in all, with a white or black background. What a fun way to grab your kiddos’ attention.

These “real life” shape examples will certainly help them understand and hopefully remember the various shapes.

As an incentive, reward them with a shaped sweet treat when they can identify all of the shapes on the posters.

Thanks for visiting today.  The rain's stopped and it's time to take my poodle pup out for a romp.  The fresh air is filled with the wonderful fragrance of fall.  Wishing you a splendid day.

"Like a ten-speed bike, most of us have gears we do not use." - Charles Schulz

## Spring Is Shaping Up

1-2-3 Come Do Some Shapely Activities With Me

Since the Silly Shaped Penguins, as well as the Shapely Owls have been such popular downloads, I decided to design a spring "craftivity" too.  When I took a look at all of the spring baby animals, the cute little chick clicked for me!

Like the Penguin and Owl Shape packets, I designed all sorts of shape-themed activities around these cuties.

I hope you enjoy using them, as much as I had fun making them.

I've included patterns for the standard 2D shapes, as well as the pattern block trapezoid and rhombus shapes, plus the 3D cone, cube and cylinder shapes

For more pizzazz, tape a real feather to the top of the chick's head and accordion fold the legs.  Adding wiggle eyes also adds more pop.

You could also make the wings moveable by punching a hole and attaching them with brass brads. Click on the link to view/download the Shapely Slick Chick Packet.

The packet includes a set of black & white shapely slick chick cards, as well as a full-color set.

I've also made 2 sets of shape-word cards.

These are perfect for Memory Match or "I Have; Who Has?" games.

Run off the black and white templates and have students make an Itty Bitty Slick Chick Shape booklet.

There's also an easy reader booklet, which covers lots of standards.

Students read the sentence, underline the capital letters and add end punctuation.

They trace and write the shape words, add features on the first shape to make it look like a chick; trace the second shape and then draw the shape.

On the last page they tell which shapely slick chick they liked the best.

I've included a graph, so you can record the results.  Standards are also covered with worksheets for spatial directions, attributes, and matching the word to the shape

Finally, to build self-esteem, I designed a sweet certificate of praise.  Click on the link to view/download the Shapely Slick Chick packet.

Thanks for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN away.

"The first day of spring is one thing, the first spring day is quite another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." -Henry Van Dyke

## 3D Shape and Regular Shape Posters To Help Students Remember

A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words

I continue to have a great time making word art with Tagxedo.

I had written an article about this wonderful site last month and I’m once again happily fooling around with it today, making anchor chart shape posters.

I figure if we expect students to learn the shapes, as well as recognize the words for them, why not make a word shape poster!

If they see the words written right in the shape, that should help right?

I made the time to do this so you wouldn’t have to! Woo hoo!

I chose different colors for the various shapes and included the star, crescent, diamond, heart  to the mix of standard flat shapes.

I’ve noticed on chat rings, that some poor teachers actually have to teach the hexagon as well as the pentagon shapes!

What rocket scientist decided a 5-year-old could wrap their head around those shapes?

Honestly, at least when they threw the octagon our way we could explain it with the stop sign! I’ve included them + the octagon, in case you need the help.

I’ve also made posters for the 3-D shapes, since  the same ivory tower fella’s felt those shapes would be age-appropriate for Y5’s and Kindergarten kiddo’s too.

What next the Einstein theory?  I think it’s time they asked some teachers to be part of the committees.  What say you?

Any hoo, hopefully this will help turn a few light bulbs on!

Since the 3D shapes are a bit harder to distinguish in word art, I've also included a picture of a "real" 3D object on the poster.

I feel when you're teaching shapes it is easier for students to understand them if you can put them in real world context and have children spy the shapes they see around them.

i.e. This is a rectangle.  A door is a rectangle.

Besides using them as anchor charts to help students remember the shapes and associate that particular shape with that word, you can also use them as jumbo flashcards; or shrink them to make Concentration Memory Match games for students.

Another way to help children remember shapes is to show how they are different. Put 2 posters next to each other and have students compare and contrast them.

I like doing this with a Venn diagram and often use hula hoops to start.

Play what's the shape?  Each day put one of the shape posters face down on the board.

Give clues about the shape and have the students guess which one is the mystery shape of the day that is "hiding".

Make a shape bulletin board and display all of them there. Take one away and ask students which one is missing.

Pass the posters out to students and play I have; Who has? "I have the circle shape.  Who has the triangle shape?"

Play "I'm Thinking Of A Shape." Start giving clues and have students guess which shape you are describing.

Finally, reveal which one it is by showing them the poster.

For those of you who are still in school, I hope things are really shaping up with your little ones, and that you are having a great end-of-the-year winding down time.

Feel free to PIN anything you think might be interesting or helpful to someone else.

Hope you can visit tomorrow for an adorable summer writing prompt to see how to make a quick and easy creative writing "craftivity"kid.

## Teaching Regular and 3-D Shapes

October SHAPES Up!

October is a wonderful month to review shapes! I have some fun activities to help you do just that.

Kids love candy and in case you haven’t noticed, candy comes in every shape you need, even the more difficult 3-dimensional ones, so why not take “sweet” advantage?

Here’s how:

Treat Bags:

Make a treat bag (I have several samples to choose from) and fill it with an example of each shape of candy. Click on the link to view/print the patterns. Treat bag samples.

Play a “Guess What Shape The Candy Is?” game with your students as you display the bag on your lap and pull out a piece of candy, showing it to your students as they sit on the floor in front of you.

As a treat, you could give each of them a triangular piece of candy corn, or make up a treat bag for everybody.

The Dollar Store has a nice selection of inexpensive paper ones, as well as Ziploc Snack Baggies that come in packs of 18-24.

If you do make up a bag for everyone, they can take it back to their desk and sort the candy on the shape sorting mats, or you can do a whole-group assessment and have children spill the candy out.

Teacher says: “Show me the triangle, show me the sphere, cube, etc.” ‘til you have reviewed each shape.

Tell the students that they may eat their M&M, Skittle or Smartie (one piece of candy that is not a big deal, but will satisfy them) and then put all of the rest back in their bag to take home so that they can share the lesson with their family.

Click on the link to view/print a shape sorting mat. 3-D shape sorting matRegular shape sorting mats.

What's Missing Candy Game?

• You could also transition to having your students sit in a circle on the floor.
• Arrange one piece of each of the 3-D - shaped examples of candy on the carpet in the middle.
• Have students close their eyes.  Hold a sheet of orange construction paper over the candy, and with your other hand, remove one of the pieces of candy.
• Tell your students to open their eyes.
• The first one to say the missing SHAPE wins a piece of candy corn.
• To make the game more difficult add another different kind of candy.
• Remember to review the different names of the SHAPES in the circle as you add candy.
• You can also play a separate game with the regular-shaped candy, or for older students combine both 3-D and regular shaped candy!

Posters:

I have purchased candy and taken pictures with a white or black background for you to print off and laminate for your classroom.

Click on the link to view/print 17 black and white background 3-D and regular shape posters

You can hold them up and use them as a review of the various shapes, a comparison of the 3-D shapes with the flat shapes, a memory match game, counting fun, discussions, writing prompts, or graphing extensions.

Click on the link to view/print

When you are done using them, hang them up in your room.  I truly believe that if a student “sees” a shape in real life, especially one that they can identify with, it helps them remember the name.

If you think of other ways to use them, I’d enjoy hearing from you so I can pass along the idea to help everyone! diane@teachwithme.com

October Shape Booklets:

I have a variety of cute shape booklets (over 50!) that my own students really enjoy making and parents have given lots of positive feedback about.

Here are some of our favorites for October:

Halloween Triangles: Students read, trace, write, count, and color the Halloween triangles. They enjoy "Tally Time" and having their opinions graphed of what triangle character was their favorite. The Monster's Head: Students enjoy coloring a cute creepy-shaped creature as they review shapes, numbers and colors. Pumpkin Eyes: Great as a listening and following direction tool.  Includes a shape-magnet manipulative craft activity.  Students trace and write the shape words as they make a story to read, while drawing a Jack-O-Lantern.  Click on the links.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Shapes (Complete with a head and manipulatives you can make and pass out to your students so they can "feed" her.) The Shapes of October, The Shape of my Kitty's Tongue (Perfect for a black cat mini-unit) + Shape booklets involving an Acorn,  Spider,

Why not become a subscription member and be able to download all of this, at no additional charge for an entire year, + get our 60+ pages Apple Bytes newsletter packet as well!

Fun Shape Freebies:

Don't forget to check out this month's free booklet, A Flame On My Candle, which also involves shapes, as well as all the cute shape activities in our Book of the Month side-blog to go along with Go Away Big Green Monster Your students will especially enjoy the envelope monster that eats shapes.

For some 3-D shape posters as well as regular shape posters click on the links to view/print them.

I also made up some shape word flashcards. You can put them up on your word wall, or make Memory Match games.

My students enjoy tracing them and making them into Itty Bitty books.  Click on the link to view/print the shape word cards.

I think building a child’s self-esteem is extremely important.  One way I do this is via certificates of praise.  Click on the link to view/print a certificate for 3-D shapes or a certificate for

I hope you found these ideas helpful and that things really shape up for you and yours