Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hands-on 3D Shapes!

I learned about this magnificent idea last year at one of our MACRO trainings (Click here for more info on MACRO!).  
Materials needed:
*stir straws
*twist ties
*3d shapes and/or 2-dimensional and
3-dimensional chart like the one displayed below.
Typically, I allow my students to explore the materials for a good 10 minutes and challenge them to create any of the shapes on the chart using the materials provided.  Students usually, figure out how to create a 2 dimensional shape within that time period.  After exploration, we regroup and students show and explain how they created their shape.  I then explain that by sticking a twist tie partially in a stir straw will lead into creating 3 dimensional shapes.  Take a look at the step-by-step visual below.
At this point my little guys and gals are FALLING off their chairs excited to give it another try. 
This activity eventually gets turned into a math center that EVERYONE wants to be at.  This is also a great way for students to learn shape vocabulary.  So give it a try, your students will have an entire different experience with 2 and 3 dimensional shapes.
In other news, I am on Fall Break! I have totally been looking forward to the down time.  I will be posting some freebies and new products during my two weeks off so be on the lookout! :]


  1. What fun...we have also built the shapes with gumdrops and toothpicks. Have you ever done the 3d shapes that you dip in a bubble solution and then pop the faces as you count them? That one is great too. At the end of our 3d shape investigation, we always have a shape snack and eat cheese cubes, Kix cereal, Bugles, pretzel sticks, etc. The kiddos love it and we make a book to go with it. =)

    I started following your blog about a month ago and love it. I would love for you to hop over and visit me when you get the chance. I'll be sharing some Thanksgiving *freebies* soon.

    Heather's Heart

    1. Thanks for the great ideas Heather! I will definitely try the bubble activity with my students, and I'm headed over to your blog as we speak!


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