Sunday, May 4, 2014

Skype in Social Studies, Polygon Ponderings...

Mystery Skype

We've kept the Skype connections going strong throughout this first grade year! Using Skype has been a natural connection with the first grade social studies units "My Place in the World" and "Mapping." When we do the "Mystery Skype" activity to try to guess where our Skype buddies are, students are using geography and questioning skills to hone in on the exact location of the other class. This has helped to raise awareness of geographical features of our country (the Rocky Mountains, the Mississippi River, compass directions (north, east, south, west), Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, etc.). Our most recent Mystery Skype calls have been with classes in Utah and North Carolina. 

Students ask each other yes/no questions to get clues about each other's location.
Students have maps on clipboards to help them find the location of the other class. We put an x on states/regions we rule out through our questioning until we figure out where they are!
Polygon Ponderings

We had a new type of Skype call last week. This time, we met with a class in Indiana. They had two polygons in mind, and so did we. We took turns asking yes/no questions to determine which polygons were the "mystery polygons." This was a fun and valuable way to review the attributes of polygons, an important aspect of our studies in geometry.

After our call, students were given several polygon-related math choices to do. Some of the activities are pictured below.

There are many geometry related activities linked in the "Math" tab of this blog. Your child can use these at home too!
Pattern Block templates are wildly popular, and students enjoyed making different polygons using the pattern blog polygon shapes.
Making polygons with twist ties and straws
Geoboards--another favorite! Many students enjoyed connecting polygons to make new designs!

Not sure what a polygon is? Ask a first grader!

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