Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by Editorial Team
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Triangle is one of the unique geometrical shapes which requires in-depth study. A whole branch of maths called trigonometry is based on triangles; it is that important a figure. Teaching concepts based on triangles may require more than reading books. Especially, when elementary knowledge building is a concern, activity-based learning helps. One of the pedagogical tools that ease teaching through activities is manipulatives. How triangles are taught through manipulatives and what are various triangle manipulatives available to try, let’s explore!
Manipulatives for teaching triangles – What to expect
Teaching triangles at an early age to students is important as it allows them more time to practice. But, we cannot expect them to be comfortable with terms like angles, sides, median, etc. The first job while teaching kids about triangles is to befriend them with this novel concept. Manipulatives allow teachers to familiarize kids with triangles by the way of maneuvering and acquaint them with triangles in a readily absorbable manner.
Manipulatives help generate intellectual curiosity among kids. These work as ice-breakers and encourage kids to put forth learning-directed questions. Teachers can solve a variety of queries by giving heads-up at the start of doing activities with triangle manipulatives.
Most importantly, manipulatives promote a multisensory learning approach. All kids have different paces of learning. By creating an activity-based learning environment with the use of manipulatives, kids can learn triangles by the senses of vision, touch, kinesthetics, etc. Thus, they can adjust easily to the enriching repertoire of topics that focus on their overall development.
Keeping these facts in mind, we have curated here the 6 most engaging manipulatives that can help young learners adopt activity-based learning to internalize triangles’ basics.
Engaging triangle manipulatives for young learners
Geostix basic set comprises 80 sticks in color-coded lengths, a collection of activity cards, and protractors. Kids can dispense the measuring part as the sticks are provided in cms. They can learn several concepts of triangles by doing activities based on the Pythagoras theorem, congruence concept, principles of intersecting lines, etc. These geostix have ridged appearance that allows easy moving and adjusting of the sticks over one another without hassles. The easy set-up allows kids to devote more time to do activities and learn.
It is the engagement quotient that sets this manipulative aside from various counterparts. The multisensory approach comes into play when kids actually join the sticks and create figures given in activity cards. Help your young learner get into quick yet sustainable learning mode by doing collaborative activities with Geosticks set. Concepts based on spatial relationships of triangles become easy to grasp with this activity set.
2. Tile Set
Triangle is an important part of geometry. Like many other shapes, triangles are a shape as well. You can find triangular shapes embedded in various structures around. Impart a tangible introduction of such structures by asking kids to make figures by using this tileset. This manipulative set contains 8 acute triangles and 10 right-angle triangles among other geometric shapes. Thus, you can give an idea of how triangles can fill in the space or add to the structures by playing with these tiles.
This learning material offers several benefits. It allows involving a multisensory approach to be conversant with triangle-based facts. Fine motor skills can get better too, as the tiles are joined to make structures. One can also be familiar with right-angle triangles’ physical characteristics and related theorems by doing activities with this play-based learning material.
3. Stacking blocks
Stacking blocks allow easy concept retrieval as kids append these to make structures. It is a manipulative fit for toddlers who need to develop shape-based reasoning. These blocks come with holes and the pegs fit on those only when the right structure is chosen. It is just the start! Further, you can engage kids in making structures by taking cues from the activity cards. The learners can refine the color recognition, and also have a firsthand introduction to triangles.
Employ these stacking blocks to teach the idea of balance, height, and width and show how triangles can be integrated to form several shapes. In the higher classes, you can introduce right-angle triangles, angles and corners, and several congruency rules with the help of these blocks.
Geoboard offers tactile learning support for kids who want to study shapes and their characteristics. This wooden board with pegs and latex bands can work as your fun-filled learning tool to be conversant with 2D shapes including triangles. All pegs are placed one cm apart. Hence, you can create triangles on this board as per measurements provided as cues. This activity tool combines the learning of fine motor skills, triangle concepts, and 2D imagery and eases the elementary learning of geometrical figures.
Driving kids into learning by reading books becomes tough due to their monotonous nature. Manipulatives offer supplementary resources to explore topics and encourage them to internalize abstract learning. Introduce types of triangles to kids by asking them to create triangles with equal sides or only two equal sides, etc. Activity-based learning promotes deeper interest and kids try to explore more by trying to highlight the use of geometrical shapes in the structures they see around.
5. Building blocks set
The symmetry of geometrical figures is responsible for the stability of structures that embed them. It is said that one of the most stable shapes is an equilateral triangle. Building blocks set utilizes this property of triangle and offer young learners a playful learning tool to create structures. Concepts, such as the square is nothing but the two equilateral triangles attached sidewise, can become clearer by doing activities with these building blocks.
Learning geometry and triangles, in particular, require strong thinking ability, and analytical aptitude. Kids can put their imagination into action and utilize spatial thinking to generate structures. Learning through touch combined with analysis and critical reasoning can be achieved by doing activities with this block set.
6. Pattern Blocks
Knowledge of patterns develops from sequential memory build-up. It is possible to arrange triangles of different sizes and shapes in several patterns to create new, composite figures. Young learners can appreciate the practical use of learning triangles by making patterns with triangular, flat blocks. Activity cues are provided along with the pattern blocks in this set to drive kids into constructive thinking.
Pattern blocks help grasp the relationships between triangles and other shapes. When trying to know about the properties such as balance and stability of triangles, this manipulative can provide the requisite learning support. Teachers can offer two-dimensional puzzles based on the concept of tangram. Skills of perceptual reasoning and visual-spatial awareness find seamless augmentation on experimenting with these 7-piece puzzles.
Multi-utility element of triangle manipulatives
The learning support is quite evident from the way manipulatives boost critical, spatial, and visual thinking. Apart from the learning support, manipulatives can offer several other utilities, such as:
- Tool for developing social skills: When you employ manipulatives in a group activity, the learners build social skills like responsibility, cooperation, and problem-solving (Moch,2008). Their mind engaged in an activity tends to become more focused and disciplined.
- Support for fine motor skills development: All manipulatives useful for learning triangles require grip, balance and small muscular movements. It, therefore, amounts to development of fine motor skills.
- A result-oriented playful activity tool: It takes a lot of effort to engage kids in doing some constructive activity. Manipulatives with their intriguing colors and styles can easily attract young brains and divert their mind to solve problems. The sense of achievement fills kids with pride and they are driven to try harder.
The use of alternative methods of teaching proves effective in keeping all kids at comparative levels of proficiency. Manipulatives serve as alternative teaching tools to manage all challenges associated with imparting newer skills. Concepts like triangles tend to stay with early learners for long by learning in an activity-based manner. Thus, the most pronounced impact is seen in the development of foundational skills which augment smooth transitioning to higher proficiency levels.