Pages

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Fun with Symmetry

You're probably here to find new activities to add to your symmetry unit, so let's begin!

Symmetry Provocation

Moment of Truth: I am an old soul.  An old fart.  I'm quite resistant to change so I haven't fully embraced the play and inquiry model.  For now I'm introducing bits and pieces to create more of a balance.

My first foray was a symmetry provocation.  Without explicitly defining symmetry, I put out a set of books which they flocked to.  They quickly picked up the concept and the center became a hit!


Symmetry provocations in first grade.  A great idea for symmetry centers!


If it's not clear, I put a thin layer of sand in a baking tin and added a small mirror.  I held up the mirror with one hand and made a design in the sand with the other.  The kids thought that it was the coolest thing looking at the reflection in the mirror!

Pegs and Pegboards

I got a bucket of pegs and a set of pegboards from a clearance center when I first started teaching.  Like most teachers would, I had to buy it because it was a great deal!  The small pegs and pegboards (4x6 inches) came from a local dollar store.  I challenged my students to make symmetrical designs or pictures. 


Symmetry centers in first grade.  Fun with pegs and peg boards!


Pattern Blocks

I was excited to try some symmetry activities created by my friend Christina over at Hanging Around in Primary.  They completed a design to make it symmetrical and made their own symmetrical designs.  In the past I put out a tub of Lego and gave kids a straw to use as the line of symmetry. 


Symmetry centers in first grade.  Fun with pattern blocks.


Butterfly Art

In grade one (first grade), paint makes everything better!  These were super easy and quick - a few drops on one side of the butterfly, press down and voilĂ ! 




Math Journals

For their journal entries, I asked students to create both symmetrical and non-symmetrical designs and find the line of symmetry in letters of the alphabet. 




These pages are part of my resource: Open-Ended Math Questions - Geometry.



I hope that you found new ideas to try with your own kiddos! 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Organize Your Units

Looking for a way to organize your teaching units?  Today I'm sharing my new storage solution - Sterilite Boxes!

Use Sterilite boxes to store your teaching units - BrowniePoints

Many teachers use binders and that's how I initially stored units.  My issue with binders was dealing with holes punched through my master copies.   The alternative was using lots and lots of page protectors which became quite cumbersome.  Another problem was having my printables (e.g. posters, task cards, sorts) slide out of the binder.


So I ditched binders and went to file folders and hanging files for my filing cabinet.   It solved my hole-punch aversion issues!   It also neatly held my printables for each unit.  The only drawback was when the unit became too big and weighed down the folder - I would have to split it into smaller files.


Then I found these at Walmart: Sterilite Large Clip Boxes

Why do I love them? They are large enough to keep files of worksheets and printables and small enough to store stacks of them.  In this box I have 5 science units in storage pockets plus support materials for the units.  I started with 4 boxes and then kept going back for more! 

Use Sterilite boxes to store your teaching units - BrowniePoints

I now keep my materials for Language Arts in my filing cabinet.  There is so much more space and I can be pretty specific.  It's so much easier finding what I need!


If you'd like to try a similar storage method, you can grab an editable version of my labels {here}.

How do you organize your files?  What are the pros and cons?