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Shape Ninjas

Shape Ninjas are up for the challenge!

Brie's ninjas rose to the challenge to define shapes together. They were asked, “How do you know it is a square?” With one hand at all times on their connected rope, they shared ideas and made suggestions to each other about how to move the rope and where to hold on. D.P. decided to draw a plan of the square they should make. He said, "The square should have straight lines on 4 sides and there should be 4 corners." At first, the ninjas began shaping their square on the wood floor. While trying make sides of equal length, they squished up the sides of the rope and pushed out the corners until they realized they needed a new plan.

These resourceful thinkers brought their rope to the carpet to line it up on the carper squares and make sure all sides were equal. G.A. helped prove the characteristics the square when he counted, "1, 2, 3, 4, equal sides and 1, 2, 3, 4 corners." As they experience creating various shapes, they make the characteristics of each shape visible with their rope. Through their dialogue, they build knowledge of the types of traits they can transfer to other shapes. New vocabulary such as sides, corners, and angles began to emerge!

In another challenge, the ninjas filled carpet squares with magnet tiles and measured to prove that the sides were equal.

They filled two carpet squares and measured the squares as 8 by 8 tiles. By the time they attempted their third square, they ran out of blocks and needed to use small rectangles to complete the final row. There was some debate as to whether it was still a square. G.A. suggested measuring it! "Two sides are 8 and two sides are shorter than 8! It's not a square." E.B. said, "It's a rectangle!”

E.B. and G.A. discuss the measurement of their square made of squares.

In an artistic challenge, Brie’s students were asked to make an architectural building using magnet tiles and represent it in front of a mirror. They challenged their knowledge of the actual shapes before them to create what they saw from their perspective. Seeing colors on the reverse sides of shapes added an extra detail and dimension to their drawings. E.B. drew his building’s reflection in the mirror.

Questions for home (adapted from Jo Boaler’s YouCubed resources)

  • What are the characteristics of the shape you built?

  • How do you know it is a (square, rectangle, triangle)?

  • How can you tell that those sides are equal?

This week at a glance:

Communication Literacy

  • Reading - sounding out words in context, using books as resources to inform writing, reviewing how to do silent reading with the whole school

  • Word study - short a rhyming patterns with increasing fluency, short e and i practice, finding word pattern words in stories, word study games

  • Writing - Reflecting on spring break, journal writing, response to literature writing

  • Read aloud!

Patterns and Modeling

  • Introduction to Geometry

  • Proving a shape (dressed as shape ninjas)

  • Practicing addition and subtraction using manipulatives to support Mathemateer on the iPad

  • Place value game


  • Art focusing on light - stained glass shapes and animals and solar printing

  • A photograph tour of Brie's home to spark conversation about light (shadows, refraction, reflection, rainbows, etc)

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