How do we learn best? At Gateway, we think collaboration and discussion are the best way to harness our children’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm, as well as to reinforce the use of technical vocabulary. This week, our maths classrooms were full of cries of ‘Look, a rhombus!’, and ‘I think it has perpendicular sides AND parallel sides’, as Year 5 investigated four-sided shapes.
Challenged to draw as many different quadrilaterals using dotted paper as they could, the children came up with dozens of different shapes. There were great debates about whether they had duplicated any, by rotating or reflecting different shapes. They compared angles (using estimation skills developed earlier in the term), and used a plethora of mathematical vocabulary. After classifying the shapes, using a Carroll diagram, they came up with the clearest mathematical definition they could find for each quadrilateral.
Do encourage your children to continue their exploration of shape at home. The world around us is full of different wonderful geometric shapes. Play ‘I Spy’ with mathematical clues. Who can be the first to spot a trapezium? Can your child find any congruent rectangles? They may even teach you a new word or two…!