Wednesday, September 21, 2011

AIMS Getting Into Geometry - Product Review

I received a pdf version of this product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. 

Description (from website)

Grades K-1
48 activities—264 pages
Triangles, rectangles, and squares jump off the pages as the activities in Getting Into Geometry have students using movement and their senses to learn the names and attributers of two-dimensional shapes. Early learners will step out the shapes, use scarves to draw them in the air, and make shape snakes out of fuzzy chenille stems. They will also find shapes in their world—on the bus, in the classroom, outdoors, and in photographs.

Once they have learned the 2-D shapes, students will compose them into other shapes like tangram trees, planes, animals, etc., helping them understand that the shape remains the same regardless of its orientation. Cutting, folding, and painting are used to teach children about line symmetry.
Moving to three-dimensional solids, young learners will compare and contrast their basic attributes. They will relate the 3-D objects to their 2-D picture representations and will combine 3-D solids to create new solids.

 A section is included on spatial relationships in which students describe the relative positions of objects using terms such as “in front of,” “behind,” “next to,” “above,” and “below.” Finally, there is a section of playful practice that uses games to reinforce concepts learned throughout the book.

Cost: $24.95 
Also available in hard copy with CD for the same price (plus shipping).

AIMS Education Foundation is a "non-profit foundation" that provides hands-on math and science resources designed to develop conceptual understanding. They offer activity books, state-specific science resources, multi-media math resources, e-activities, professional development, manipulatives, and homeschool resources. While most of their products are for sale, they offer free activities and a monthly newsletter with puzzles, games, and activities geared to user-selected grade ranges. They also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

While my intention was to use Getting into Geometry with my DS5, fun cannot be had by him without DD8 wanting to engage as well. She knows her shapes well enough, but she is a kinesthetic learner, and the hands-on stuff she saw her brother doing were irresistible to her. So the three of us have been having fun making models with play dough and straws . . .

. . . while learning that some shapes simply can't be made with those materials, but can be made with something like yarn:

We've explored corners and edges with chenille "snakes" (I thought they needed googly eyes if they were really going to be snakes we named Sid and Sammy and Slither): 

And unlike using straws and play dough, we learned that chenille stems can be bent into virtually any shape we want . . .

We also got a kick out of using our whole bodies to make big shapes with streamers while bopping to the beat of some music . . .

All of these activities came from just the first few lessons of Getting into Geometry. We're excited about what's to come . . . making puzzles with tangrams, symmetry art projects, exploring how solids move on the flat floor and down slopes, and playing concentration games to identify 2-D shapes and 3-D solids -- just to name a few of the things we have to look forward to doing together, mostly with items we have around the house. 

While Getting into Geometry does seem geared to a classroom setting, it is very easy to modify for the homeschool environment. I am impressed with the layout of lessons, each specifying the following categories of information:

Key Question
Learning Goal
Guiding Documents (US benchmarks and standards)
Math (terminology)
Integrated Processes (such as observing, classifying, comparing/contrasting)
Background Information
Connecting Learning (key questions)
Extensions (sometimes including web resources)

I also appreciate the subject integration approach in that some lessons employ the use of music, science, and literature to develop conceptual understanding. While some lessons involve the student recording information, Getting into Geometry is not a common workbook. It really is a great teaching and learning resource that we will continue to enjoy using.

Thank you to AIMS and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for the opportunity to review this product. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. It looks like your kids really enjoyed this book. We reviewed the Earth Book and were surprised how well we liked it.


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