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    greedy triangle
    By anne

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    this might not be what you are looking for, but my third graders really enjoyed it last year.
    i gave each child ten pieces of straws (i think that the book goes up to decagon...i forget). for instance, i took five straws and cut them in half so each child had ten pieces. as i read the book, i had the students to use the straw pieces to make the shape that i was reading about on that page. for instance, they start with the triangle, i think, they took three straw pieces and made a triangle. then they left their triangle and when i read about quadrilateral, they had to add a straw piece to make the quad. does that make sense? i really wanted the kids to see that shapes can change just by adding a "new" side and angle. does that make sense? if not, let me know. this wasn't any "wonderful" lesson that i took planning. i thought of it the morning before i read the book. i didn't know if the kids would like it, but they loved it! in fact, i left the book and extra straws at the math center so they could do it on their own.
    i also wanted the kids to see that shapes were everywhere in their lives (real world application). marilyn burns gives examples in the book of where you can see the shapes in everyday lives--quadrilateral could be a window, etc. so anyway, i had the kids make their shapes journal. for the next two weeks they had to record items that had a certain shapes. for example, a circle is seen in a stop sign, you can see a square in a wheat thin. kids could either draw the pictures in their journals, take pictures, or cut pictures from magazines/newspapers. they (and their parents) really like that one!
    another idea: have the kids make up their own book titled the "unselfish decagon" and have the students write their own story--only going backwards! for instance, instead of starting with the triangle, have them start with the last shape in the book-decagon (i think) and have them talk about how the decagon gives away a line and angle and he is now a .......and so on backwards through the book.
    i don't know if this makes any sense. i used this book and these ideas last year and my kids loved them. if they don't make sense, email me personally. good luck!

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