David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.
4th Grade Geometry
Learning geometry is like learning another language: scalene triangles, parallelograms, perpendicular lines, obtuse angles. . . there are a lot of words and meanings to learn. Anything we can do to make this learning process easier and more fun is worthwhile. That's why we're providing some geometry games to help students get where they need to be. Check out these ideas.
Have students use their knowledge of geometry to create beautiful artwork. Start them out with a list of instructions, designed specially so that following those instructions will produce an attractive drawing. Here are some examples of what those instructions could look like.
- Draw a circle with a radius of 3 centimeters.
- From the left side of the circle, draw a horizontal line of length 5 centimeters.
- From the middle of that line, draw another at an angle of 30 degrees down and to the right.
- Next, draw a rhombus with sides 4 centimeters long that is slanted to the right, with the top right point of the rhombus touching the center of the circle.
Have examples of finished drawings on hand, so students can see where they went wrong. Once students try a few of these drawings, they can try to create their own geometric drawings and instructions to go with them. You can even offer a prize for the most creative design.
Have students (individually or in groups) create a geometric plan of the classroom. The idea is to represent everything in the classroom using only geometric shapes and terms. Everything on their diagram must be labelled with a geometry term they've learned about. Make it a competition by challenging students to create a plan that contains the most labelled terms possible. The student or group that includes the most (fully accurate) terms wins the game.
Round-Robin Terms List
Have students get into groups and try to name and draw as many geometry terms as they can. Each student says a term out loud and draws it on a mini whiteboard to show the group. If the group agree that they're correct, they continue to the next student. They keep going from student to student until someone can't think of any more. Anyone who can't think of a term is knocked out, and the last person standing is the winner. One person in the group keeps track of the terms by writing them down, and tells people if a term has already been mentioned (in which case they must think of another).
You can also make this a competition between groups, in which the record-keeper also keeps a tally of how many they came up with. The group that comes up with the most terms wins the game.
All the Numbers
Have students practice their understanding of 3D shapes by playing All the Numbers. This involves answering a set of questions about 3D shapes and totaling them to find an overall answer. These questions could ask about the number of vertices, sides, and edges that a 3D shape has, for example. You could also ask how many squares there are on the surface of a cube or how many circles there are on the surface of a cylinder. Once students answer all of their questions and total them, they can bring their final answer to you. Your response is a simple, 'Yes,' or 'No,' to indicate whether they're right or wrong. If the answer is 'yes,' then that group wins first place. If the answer is 'no,' they have to go back and check their work.
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