We recently explored 3D shapes and shadows with Lil' Sis as part of her RightStart Mathematics Level A program. I wanted to share a quick glimpse into one of her lessons because it's an example of how this curriculum is hands-on and fun for my daughter. We did this lesson at night, after dinner (yay for homeschooling flexibility!) so that we could take advantage of it being darker and better for working with flashlights and shadows. She asked if she could stay up late in order to do more math... and we did!
RightStart is completely comprehensive, in my opinion, as a math curriculum. It covers more than any other program we've tried so far, and does so very thoroughly. That said, it has also been a starting point for us to explore more about many of the math concepts presented. Somehow, we often find ourselves inspired to use what she's learned in many other creative ways beyond what is in the book. It's not that we need to do so, but that she wants to! She loves learning math, so we end up on little adventures and educational pretend play during or after a lesson. Sometimes it is simply more practice on a math concept, while other times it leads us into other subjects too!
Let me just say that I don't consider myself to be a creative person... at least not more than average (and quite possibly less so). I don't plan ahead for these extra things in conjunction with a lesson. They just... happen. Easily. Often times, it's Lil' Sis that takes the lead. Other times, it's me, Big Sis, or in the case of the after-dinner math activity, even daddy! With the shapes lesson pictured here, we also explored and reviewed science, astronomy, and art as an easy, spontaneous extension of the lesson. How cool is that!?
We started with a variety of activities using the 3D shape blocks. Noting things like roundness, edges, and grouping into categories. It is, by the way, really nice to have these in wooden form. It lends so much to the experience to have the weight and sturdiness.
We then used the flashlight and studied the different possibilities of shadows that each shape made. Later, we took a moment to trace the shadows too. It was fun to watch Lil' Sis discover that the cone could have both a triangle and a circle shadow, while a cylinder made a circle and a rectangle. This discovery being made on her own is, I think, what will help her remember better and what makes this more fun than a lecture or video lesson about the topic.
Lil' Sis made the observation that the sphere was like the moon. This is when daddy came over and spent some time showing both girls all about how the sun, moon, and earth interact with a nice astronomy lesson! ;-)
After that, the girls wanted to see what type of pictures they could make using traced shadows of each shape, which allowed them to think even more about the traits and features of each one. They made a soda bottle and a farm house, adding details after using the shape-shadows as the outlines. Totally their idea, but I went with it, particularly because it tied in nicely with a recent art lesson we did about finding shapes in everyday objects.
Of course, the evening would not have been complete without adding in some tracing of the girls' profiles too!
I'm a homeschooling mom of three, enjoying our time in Hawaii and hoping to share some of that experience with you, including ideas, reviews, resources, and information.