Math Investigations

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Chapter 5

Part 1: Home and School Investigation

Send the Letter to Family (PDF file) home with each child. Once all of the children have brought in an object, have each child trace their object to make a shape. You might want to put the children in pairs so that one child can hold the object and the other child can trace it. Collect all of the tracings. Sort the tracings into the following categories: Triangles, Rectangles, Squares, Circles, Other Shapes. Hold a tracing up and let the children tell you which category it goes into.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 2 on squares and triangles.


Introducing the Investigation

Introduce the investigation by showing children the student worksheet. Tell them that you are going to give them two colors and you want them to color a design so that none of the common edges have the same color. Demonstrate what you mean by coloring two squares with a common edge so that the edge does not have the same color on both sides of the edge. Also demonstrate coloring two squares with a common edge so that the edge does have the same color on both sides of it.

Put students in groups of two to work on the investigation.

Doing the Investigation

Have children share their designs with each other when they are finished. Ask them to talk about what is different and what is the same about each of the designs. Bring out in the discussion that children used different colors in their designs. However, the colors alternate in the same way in each of the designs.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K