For those of us who have taught the grades 3-6 range, I am sure you might agree that teaching with geoboards is always an even that students look forward to each year. Geoboards can be both a powerful hands-on learning tool (even for K-2 students), or a nightmare of flying rubber bands. For me, one way I make sure I preface the lesson is to remind students of the difference between toys and learning tools in the classroom and how if his or her learning tool becomes a toy, then they get to switch to a boring paper and pencil activity and follow along with everyone else. Another great tip shared from an amazing math coach one year was to allow the students to "play" with their materials for 1-2 minutes (set a timer on the overhead or interactive whiteboard). They can use those rubber bands to create designs or make pictures - while the timer is on. When that timer goes off, play time is done and then they must use their materials in the way I instruct or they get the good old paper and pencil.
Don't let the fear of rubber bands scare you from using such a powerful hands-on tool to teach area, congruence, properties of shapes, tessellations, coordinate systems, and more!
I was so excited to review ETA hand2mind's The Super Source Geoboard Kit this week and it is fabulous! The kit comes with the following items in this handy box:
30 DOUBLE-SIDED geoboards with individual packs of rubber bands!
2 overhead or doc camera clear matching geoboards for demonstrations!
The Super Source Geoboards Teacher Guide (I have the grades 3-4, but there are also K-2 and 5-6 editions available)!
I have to say I LOVE the teacher guide! It is chocked full of ideas I had never even thought of to use geoboards. First, it has a nice grid that shows which of the math concepts are covered for each of the lessons in the guidebook, which is super helpful if you are in need of a lesson (for example, you need something for perimeter and you can just use the grid to find relevant lessons instead of looking through the entire book).
Next, The lessons themselves are great! They include the materials you'll need for the class, the math concepts covered again, an overview, how to introduce the comment, individual practice suggestions, wrapping it up, and even extension activities. The lessons are only about 2 pages long, so it is enough but not too much. The teacher's guide even has geoboard games that the students can play! I would have never thought of using games and geoboards together!
In the very back of the guide, there are blackline masters (perfect for those who choose to play instead of using their learning tools correctly), as well as one page that has a large geoboard blackline master, with writing lines underneath! Assessment ready to go. :)
OK, I know you are all super excited to find out how you can also win this same class set of geoboards from ETA hand2mind - details are below! PLEASE stop by ETA hand2mind's Facebook fan page and the ETA hand2mind website to thank them for being so generous - this is an awesome prize!
I would love to hear your best teaching or management tip for using geoboards in the classroom in a comment below! Thanks for stopping by!
Winner: Notified via email: Sara P.