Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Editorial Team
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We all know the importance of geometry in the math curriculum. But the scope of geometry is much more than just a math ‘topic’. And not just in math, it plays a crucial role in constructing chemical bonds as well.
Early adaptation of geometry through various ways is important as it familiarizes us with much more advanced concepts later in the future. The whole construction process sits on the ability of one’s expertise in geometry.
Geometry topics in early school generally stick to shapes and solids. With these basic concepts, the student’s mind is triggered to develop visual, descriptive, logical, and applied skills. Hence, it is obvious why practicing geometry on a regular basis is really important.
Doesn’t matter if the kid is in elementary school, middle school, or high school, the topic must be introduced early so to make it easy for students to deal with advanced topics in later years. The best way to do it is to make it interactive. There are ample ways of doing it for example starting the class with a cool geometry quote to catch your students’ attention, incorporating board games and activities, and using physical manipulatives like the ones we are going to discuss today.
Manipulatives make learning math really interesting and enjoyable. Kids are intrigued and motivated by themselves to use these for learning. On-hand experience with manipulatives helps kids construct physical models of abstract mathematical ideas.
Keeping this in mind, we’ve curated a list of the top 5 math manipulatives for excelling in geometry right from the beginning. The best way to get the maximum benefit out of these is to practice in a scheduled routine. Design some worksheets around and score them up.
1. Geometric Solids
Geometric solids are probably the most common manipulative used in this aspect. This makes sense because the very thing you want to teach is what exactly geometry is based on. Kids must be introduced to the different solid shapes and their attributes first. Furthermore, it’s way more effective to experience it practically than in books or drawings.
There are a lot of products available online to choose from. The one that we recommend is the relational geometry solids by Learning Resources. As this manipulative is made from clear plastic, Kids can see the number of sides and lines that go into the structure. It’s a good learning experience for beginners in geometry.
The product consists of a set of 14 clear plastic geometric shapes that include spheres, cones, cubes, rectangles, cylinders, pyramids, and polyhedral. To make it more interactive, the geometric shapes are equipped with removable stoppers. Learners can interact with it by doing activities such as filling it with rice, sand, or dry-fill beads.
2. Dive into Shapes: A “Sea” and Build Geometry Set
Let kids enjoy practicing hands-on geometry with the help of this super engaging geometric shapes building set. The set has different tools, such as sticks, curves, and connectors, that can be used to create a variety of 2D and 3D shapes. As kids use their skills to work their way through the different parts provided, they gain experience in building composite shapes and learning the attributes of each one.
The soft and durable pieces of this geometry set are great for practicing individually or in groups. Kids can pick one of the 15 activity cards and test their minds to solve the STEM challenges. All in all, this 129-piece shape building set can be a valuable resource to enrich students’ minds and take them on a journey where they can learn and apply early geometry fundamentals.
Exploragons are on-hand manipulatives for creating and analyzing various geometric shapes. With a similar aim of construction set, Exploragons let you explore and build strong geometry concepts. These manipulative tools have flexible sticks that can snap together and give you the freedom to try a number of polygons.
The box contains 11 sets of exploragons, ten for students and one for the teacher. You get a total of 836 pieces of exploragons and 44 protractors. Each set contains 76 exploragons and 4 clear protractors. The 8 different lengths and colors of exploragons and a protractor with nubs allows students to create and measure a variety of angles. In addition, you also get a stack of dry erase task cards and quick check cards. The best aspect of this math manipulative is that it can be used for students right from kindergarten through grade 12.
Exploragons are quite popular for teaching geometry concepts to students. You also get individual sets which parents can buy for their kids so they can practice at home. Parents love that their kids enjoy building 2D shapes on this. They prefer it because of its practical approach to building a strong geometry foundation in kids. Teachers also find it very useful for incorporating the STEAM education approach in the classroom.
4. Scales And Protactors
The first and foremost important lesson in a training session is to familiarize yourself with the tools involved. Similarly, understanding geometry demands understanding its tools first. Kids have to experience what goes into the topic and what they are dealing with.
Tools like scales and protractors are great tools to be used as manipulatives. Some activities can be arranged as well by teachers with it. Important concepts of geometry such as measurement, angles, circles, and mensuration are taught through this.
The good thing about this is the very chance of its availability in your geometry box, so you won’t have to spend money on it. It’s a relatively easy way of learning than other products. These tools already lying around the house but if you want then you should take a look at the Sparco plastic protractor with a 6-inch scale attached.
5. Magnetic Circle Fractions
The circle is probably the most important topic of advanced geometry that we face in middle and high school. The importance of these concepts is more pronounced in competitive exams where you have to put logical thinking and beat the time race.
Thus, it becomes really valuable to have on-hands experience with the concepts of circle way before jumping into the advanced concepts. There are several products in the market achieving this aim. However, do note that not all work for all age groups. We require on-hands manipulative of circles that work for early learners, especially kids in elementary school or preschoolers.
Magnetic Circle Fractions by Inspirational Classrooms is perfect for this job. This manipulative introduces the relationship of angles and fractions with the circle. These are the beginner’s concepts that are important for building strong fundamentals in kids. Teachers can arrange activities and worksheets to find out what fractions are covering what part of the circle or something similar.
Geometry is the science of shapes and sizes. Thus, a 2-dimensional paper cannot bring this 3 Dimensional phenomenon to life. Hence, the use of manipulatives can be a wonderful aid to help your child get comfortable with the concepts of geometry, while at the same time enjoying himself or herself. As they say, when knowledge becomes fun, learning becomes a lifelong process.