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Monster Math!

This week is all about MONSTERS! This is such a fun topic for children as they can be both fun and scary. But we will focus on the fun side! Today’s story Monster Math by Anne Miranda… read by Anne Miranda! This is a story about a Monster’s birthday and how many monsters join the fun!

Shape Monster created by Adam Ray Daniels’ Cartoons for my TPT store kits

So … it’s time for a favorite activity and character: Shape Monster! Shape Monster Shape Monster munch, munch, munch? How about about a (color) (shape) for your lunch! This is a common kindergarten shape activity, but can so easily be adapted!

I’ll share with you a few ideas on how you can use the shape monster today.

Create simple shape monsters (or complex if you want). Put them onto bags or onto empty boxes to make the shape monster’s lunch bag/box. Label each monster with a shape. (circle monster, square monster, rectangle monster etc…). Have your child find items around they can put into the shape monster’s lunch bag.

Provide your child with construction paper, either already cut into shapes or have your child cut his/her own shapes. Use the shapes to create a monster out of shapes… a shape monster! Or if you do not have construction paper, they can just draw a monster out of shapes!

Want more shape monster fun? I have two kits in my store that use Shape Monster!

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Shape Monster’s 2D lunch time mini book ($2)… Help shape monster find the shapes he wants to for lunch. Each page focuses on one shape and provides a color for each shape. And, Shape Monster himself describes the shapes attributes.

Shape Graphing with Shape Monster ($1)… This kit has your child(ren) sorting and graphing shapes. The kit includes four different graphing pages (spin and graph, color and graph, grab and graph and find and graph)

math · STEAM

Monday Math- 3D shapes

While I typically try to tie the math activity into the weekly topic, today I’m going off on a tangent. Today we will work on 3D, or solid, shapes. The recognition and labeling of 3D shapes is a preK skill that will get addressed again in K and 1st grade, each time adding more information to the skill.

3D shapes are labeled and recognized by the shape and size of their faces. We learn to count and identify the number and type of faces on the shapes. A cube is created of 6 square faces, where a cylinder has 2 circular faces and a curved rectangle face. A pyramid has 3 triangular faces and one square face.

We then learn to count the edges, this is where the sides of each shape meet. A cube has 12 edges and a cylinder has 2.

Finally we look at the number of vertices. We leaned this word discussing 2D shapes. The vertices are where the two sides of a 2D shapes or a combination of edges on a 3D shape meet.

(The most important thing to focus on is being able to identify items that represent each of the 3D shape labels…. a can is a cylinder, a cereal box is a rectangular prism)

This video will help introduce 3D shapes to your child.

3D shapes can be found all around us. Have your child find items around the house that are cylinders, cubes, rectangular prisms, and spheres. Remember 3D shapes have length, width and height, so they cannot be flat.

pyramid made with Craisins and toothpicks

Finally allow your child to construct his/her own 3D shapes. A fun way to do this is to use food/play dough and toothpicks/straws to build the shapes. In school we do this with marshmallows or clay and toothpicks. Using straws allows you to alter the length and make the rectangular shapes more precisely, but you need a larger item to push them into. Using wooden skewers and toothpicks allows for this same effect, but just be careful of poking with the skewers are they are pointier than toothpicks.

In school, we will work at the same time to make a cube and then I allow them to explore. One of the best things to do is sit there and make a shape yourself. You will be surprised at how creative they can be and when they see you working on it too they will gain some strategies on how to make it work.


Monday Math- Symmetry

This week we will do a bit of exploring about insects. Make sure to check out the links on Sunday’s post for stories and information for your preK kiddo on insects.

Today we will focus on symmetry. When we learn about symmetry in preK we learn that it means to make things the same on both sides. We use mirrors to show that the two sides should look the same (ie a mirror image). Most insects have very clear lines of symmetry down the middle.

shape symmetry
not symmetrical

But, before we get to insects, let take symmetry back a step or two… shapes. Cut out basic shapes. Show your child how to fold the shapes to locate lines of symmetry. Also show fold that would be incorrect (see triangle photo).

Once your child begins to understand the concept of lines of symmetry (do not expect mastery, just a basic understanding), we can have some fun. Here are a few fun projects you can do with symmetry:

fold paper to draw insect
symmetrical dragonfly

Fold a sheet of paper in half and draw half an insect (butterfly, dragonfly, ant, housefly, bumblebee, etc). Show your child how to draw it on the fold so that when it opens up it is the whole insect. Then have him/her color it so both sides are the same. This coloring does not have to match the real life object, the real lesson is making sure it is symmetrical.

If your home is anything like mine, you have lots of Lego bricks around the house. Here is a way to use the Lego items to practice symmetry. Find a variety of matching blocks. Set up a design and have your child create a matching symmetrical version. Remind them that it is a mirror image and therefore should build out from the middle.

Lego symmetry
finished Lego symmetry