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What are some good resources for teaching kids about geometric shapes?

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The University of Connecticut's Project M2 has compiled resources for math education, including geometry instruction for elementary school children. ProjectM2.uconn.edu offers links to national geometry instruction standards, a library of virtual manipulatives and free geometry lesson plans. The project lists scholarly resources on geometry instruction, including "Navigating through geometry in pre-kindergarten-grade 2," by the Nation Council of Teachers of Mathematics. A bibliography of children's books on geometry includes "The Greedy Triangle," by M. Burns.

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K-5MathTeachingResources.com lists geometry activities that align with state educational standards. The activities are designed for small groups or large classes and are available in PDF format. In one example of an activity from the site, students measure line segments on a geoboard with elastic bands, a ruler and geoboard paper. Students can also classify two-dimensional figures and identify the differences between parallel and perpendicular lines.

BrightHorizons.com offers ideas for teaching geometry to young children and suggests that playing with blocks is a good way for children to learn to recognize different shapes at a young age. The site recommends that parents encourage their children to compare differently-shaped blocks and to make different shapes with multiple blocks. Children can also act out stories to better understand spatial relationships; in one example, children perform "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" to demonstrate words such as "under," "across" and "over."

JMathPage.com provides over 1,000 free math activity ideas, games and tools for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Geometry activities include the study of plane shapes and solids and games in which students create pictures out of shapes. Activities for studying angles, coordinates and patterns are available on the site. Teachers can find resources such as printable worksheets for geometry lessons under the Teacher Resources link.

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