Every year I teach a math unit/study all about SHAPES.  It is one of my favorite math units to teach.  There are so many fun activities you can do and it is easy to incorporate them into all my classroom centers!  Here is a highlight of some of our shape study using Let's Learn About Shapes!
This year my shapes unit will be four weeks long.  Each week we learn about one or two shapes.  Week one is circle and oval.  Week two is triangle.  Week three is rhombus and square.  Week four is rectangle.  To begin the study we created a chart on the basic shapes.
 I put the shape anchor chart in my discovery center.  On the table students could sort various objects by shape.  Students could draw a representation of how they sorted.  I always try to add a writing and/or representation piece to activities I have on my discovery table.  
Shape Roll and Graph is a fun game to practice shape matching and shape identification.  Students roll a shape dice or pick a shape card and place a counter in the box in the row of that shape.  This game can be played independently or with peers. I introduce all my shape games in small group first before I put it out as a center choice.  My students LOVE to use magnetic bingo counters for this game.  When the game is over they can erase their board using the magnet wand!
We have done MANY shape sorting activities during our shape unit.  The first way we sorted shapes was round or not round.  The directions are simple.  Students sort the paper shapes, and glue onto the page.
 Week two we focused on triangles.  Students sorted if the shape was a triangle or if it was not a triangle.
Here are the directions on how I made my shapes induced in Let's Learn about Shapes.  Every activity includes a teacher information page about how you can use it in your classroom.
As a way to model the activity and to assess students, we did the same activity using the shape headers and real objects whole group.  It was my transition from music to snack.  Students came up one at a time and sorted their shape then went back to wash their hands for snack.  
 
I wanted the shapes unit to be in all of my classroom centers.  In the art center students could create shape collages.  Creating shape collages is a fun way for students to explore shapes and to develop spatial sense.  I always have a big bag of paper shapes in my classroom.  I am always adding shapes from left over art activities/crafts throughout the year.  You can also buy pre-cut foam shapes from a craft store.  They are smaller but work just as well.  Many of my students were creating Shape Monsters so I did a bulletin board with them!  For students who had not made on one their own, I pulled them for a small group where they could create a shape monster too.  Don't you love how all their monsters are all unique!
For a table time activity when we were focusing on triangles, students created shape collages only using triangles.  I did not separate out the triangles for the art project.  Students had to find and identify the triangles to create their collage!  Art and math at the same time!
 They turned out SO AMAZING I put them in the Art Gallery.
Shape printing!  Each week I found objects around the classroom of that shape do make prints with.  When we focused on circles, students could make circle prints.  The tubes are paper towels rolls cut in half.  One quick tip about this activity...don't let the tubes set in the paint all day.  They will get soak up the paint and get soggy.
Something I added to my library center were shape mini books.  Each week, I added the shape book(s) that we focusing on.  Students traced, decorated, and made the shape and/or shape word.  They cut along the lines to create each page and stapled it together.  This was a huge hit!  I introduced this activity during small group before I added to my center.
Everything in this post is included in my unit Let's Learn About Shapes!  Stay tuned to see what we do next to explore and learn all about shapes!











It's a little late but here is what we did for week 3 and 4 of our Birthday Study!  Week 3 we focused on games and gifts.  Week 4 we focused on pajama parties!  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my 5 for Friday!
Most of these activities are included in the my Birthday Math and Literacy Centers and Birthday Dramatic Play.
1.  Pretending fun... 
In weeks one and two, students were decorating for the party, making the cake, inviting guests, singing "Happy Birthday", eating, and opening presents.  Now students could play the balloon bean bag toss, limbo, musical chairs, and do pretend face paintings.  The students LOVED pretending to paint each others faces, get out their "sleeping bags" (pieces of fabric), and have a slumber party!
2.  What we did for literacy...
In the library center and for small group, students played Birthday Letter Dot It.  They picked a big foam letter from the bucket and marked their page.  This was a HUGE hit.  They played it over and over.
 My pre-k friends created birthday words with magnet letters using the birthday vocabulary word cards.
 My 3 year old friends found letters that matched.
3.  On to math....
Present Number Match!  Kids love presents so I created a fun math game about it!  Students placed the matching number of object in the presents.
Students built their fine motor muscles and counting skills when they made sprinkles on their cupcakes.  They also traced the numbers with dry erase markers!
Students played Birthday Dot It by rolling a dice and dotting the matching number.  I also had a cake board only with number 1, 2, and 3 for my younger friends.
4.  Now fine motor fun...
Students created Wish List Collages by cutting out pictures of toys from magazine.  To help my 3 year old friends, I drew a circle around the object.  By far this was many of my friends favorite cutting activity so far this year!
 Wrapping Paper and Ribbon Collages!  Who doesn't love shiny paper and ribbons?  I cut the paper into 2 inch strips and the ribbon into about 5 inch strips.  Students could cut and glue as they wished.
 Look how great they turned out!  Sorry I took the picture sideways.
 Making letters is hard.  To practice different types of lines that make up letters, we made balloons on paper I taped to the wall.  When students stand and draw or paint they develop their upper arm muscles!  I LOVE activities that serve a dual purpose!  First,we made a bunch of circles at the top of the paper for the balloon.
 Then students made curvy lines going down for the strings.  Another reason why I love this activity is because every student can work at their own level!  My three year olds' balloons and strings are larger while my pre-k friends' balloons and strings are smaller and more refined.
5.  Sensory experiences...
 Many of my students had never iced a cake before.  I wanted them to pretend to do it in the pretend center so I created an real life experience for them.  The "cake" is a bowl turned upside down and the "icing" is shaving cream.  I put the shaving cream in an empty icing container and gave them real sprinkles to add too!  
 It looks like sprinkles right? Nope it's colored rice. The students LOVED measuring, mixing, and making cakes with the colored rice in the sensory table.
The last week, I kept the pans, took out the caking making tools, and added letter manipulatives!  Students pretended to make letter cakes, letter cupcakes, and letter soup.  They matched the letters and made words they knew.  It was a fun, hands on letter experience!  Just a note... each week I add a new tool or change something about or in my sensory table to keep students engaged, interested, and learning!

If you would like to do these activities in your classroom you can purchase...
Be sure to check out what others are doing this week over at Doodle Bugs Teaching!  Have a great weekend!
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