# Fancy Plane Shapes

Second Graders are learning their shapes. What a great age to be composing, decomposing and recomposing.

These images are the final part of the Wallet-Book project that I began with about 66 students earlier this week. After making images that had a value of 100 we moved on to getting up-close and intimate with parallelograms and trapezoids.

Students got strips of these parallelograms, which I had printed on five different colored papers. We looked at the parallelograms and noticed that they were made of two triangles. After separating a triangle, we fit next to a full parallelogram, to see how the two shapes, together, could make a trapezoid.

The kids seemed delighted by this discovery. While most students illustrated this connection with three different images…

…there was one student who took an elegant approach, which was to make just one shape, then label the way it could be broken down into its parts.

Next we moved on to hexagons, rectangles, then, finally, a shape of their own choosing. The kids loved noticing how three parallelograms not only are the parts of a hexagon, but also, that their hexagon has the appearance of a cube drawn in perspective. The toughest shape for the students to make was the rectangle, as this meant that they had to divide a triangle in half, the rotate and reflect the pieces. Not so easy. Try it.

After making the compulsory curriculum shapes the kids went free-form, designing their own creations. My seventy minutes time slot with each class of 22 students just flew by!

Some students made abstractions with the shapes, others created scenes or something recognizable.

Since this was the first time I was doing this project in the classroom, and since I had three classes to work with, I kept changing how I presented the project, getting a better feel each time for better ways to get the kids to interact with the shapes within the time frame I had with them, and within the agenda that needed to be addressed. For each class, though, I kept the curriculum piece at the beginning of my time with the students, ending the class the creative part. I think I’d like to see what happens if I flip that order of working, as perhaps it will let students discover on their own things that I actively try to get them to see.

When we finished, any extra parallelograms were stored in the origami pocket we had made during out last session, looped a humongous rubber band into a hole punched into the front flap, created and ID card for the front, and added some bling, because, well, bling.

The Wallet-folders, by the way, are made from heavy weight 11″ x 17″ paper that has a four-inch fold along the bottom edge, which creates the pockets. There are two 7-inch wide pockets within, and a 3-inch fold-over flap. If you are wondering where I got this awesome paper that is tinted with black, blue, and silver, with a light cast of gold above, well, thank you for wondering. I spray painted the papers (outside, of course, with a mask on) so I could have exactly what I wanted. Yeah, a bit crazy, but that’s what I do.

# Biome Books, Post #2

Here is second post showcasing the magnificent Biome Books made by Mrs. DePace’s second grade class during my time with them last spring.  Futurer posts will contain more how-to details about these books.

From what I recall, the young man who created this page was insistent that he had no ability to create a visually acceptable page.  His teacher showed him how to make some simply drawn trees, and he just took off from there.

This view of the book shows a good view of the pop-ups on the first spread of pages, and gives a hint of the second spread, which contains the written research done by the students.

This is the second spread of pages, where the written research about the biome resides.  Notice that the writing is done in four separate min-book that are attached onto these pages. More about this later…

I gave students a choice of using dark paper or light blue paper on which to illustrate their biome.  I was surprised that this student chose a dark color for the desert biome.  He explained to me that he was going to do a night scene of the desert.  It was a great decision. So that his drawings would show up well, he used Crayola Gel Markers.  Cut paper shows up great on dark pages, so I was glad to see that he took advantage of this.