Oct 22, 2013

WonderWorks: Geoboards


Rubberbands and pegs give shape practice and help build muscles.

Today's Topic: Geoboards (Math)
Geoboards -- ours were purchased, but you could also make your own (links at the end of this post)
Rubberbands (variety of sizes and colors is good) OR weaving loops
Printed templates from Planet of the Apels (template 1) (template 2)
iPad with Geoboard app (optional)


cover art When a line bends--a shape begins / Greene, Rhonda Gowler

 What Kids Do: 
Most of the kids started off by making "lines" 
 Then some moved on to shapes and shapes and shapes.  The coordination for getting your hands to stretch the rubberbands around the pegs took some practice.  It helped to have someone put their finger on the peg you were pulling from so that your rubberband didn't pop off as you were stretching it.

 Even younger siblings enjoyed getting in on the action in their own way!
 Some participants tried making pictures--
 Here, someone is creating a picture inspired by the templates:
 A clever adult figured out how to put round wheels on this train--
 And I like how this student used the pegs on BOTH sides of the board for the same rubberband!
Then, some of the kids (who are used to having more than one activity in class to rotate between, after all) decided to explore more shape-play with the wooden blocks.
 This one spells out "IAN" (only the "N" and the "A" got a bit scrambled...)
 There's also a fantastic geoboard app available for free from the Math Learning Center It's also available on their website (you just use a mouse instead of your finger to manipulate the "bands").

Variations to try: 
You could try making your own geoboards.  Here are a few links to tutorials:

corkboards + thumbtacks
pegboard + bolts + nuts
 wood + nails
"travel" size with rubberband pouch
shoebox + thumbtacks

Related Apps: Geoboard by Math Learning Center  (Fun note:  One excited participant told me the week after this class that he'd gotten to play with the Geoboard multiple times that past week after I introduced it in class.)

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