Bridges Grade 1 Advice for Unit 5
During Penguins you probably spent little time with the Work Places introduced in Unit 3. This unit starts right off though by returning to those Work Places, so a quick review would probably be in order.
I also hope you have your software installed and have practiced it yourself. It’s clearly laid out in the Technology book and Teachers Guide. The CD is in a pocket in the inside cover of the Technology book.
As a classroom teacher I always tried to integrate writing with what we were doing in math. Here one student’s writing sample from the middle of the unit: “Geometry is fantastic I love it, ist grat I wunder haw it will be in second grade? I lick will it mack a pyramid? I wunder If geminy (Germany) has Geometry?” (The student was going to Germany that summer.)
You introduce Pattern Block Puzzles in Session 4, where the children fill a shape with different combinations of pattern blocks, recording the number of each of the pieces used. The related Work Place, 4C, is one where I often sat, at least in the beginning so I could help direct children’s attention to the calculation of the number of each of the different pieces. (Instructional Considerations found at the bottom of page 640.) Students can choose to cover the puzzle with real pattern blocks, simply recording the numbers at the bottom. Or they can glue down paper pieces. The second reason to actively observe this WP is to offer a challenge to the participants. Ask them to find the fewest number of pattern blocks needed to fill each design. (Answers on pg. 641!) A second extension is to calculate the area of each design in green triangles where green = one unit.
How many sides can the base of a pyramid have? What is a right cylinder? Is it a cylinder if it looks like the leaning tower of Pisa? How many faces on every triangular prism? Answers to these questions, can be found on pages 654-655 that provides a review of 3D geometry.
Kids naturally love Polydron pieces, and many will memorize the answers to the worksheets for Polydrons: Box or House? and Will It Make a Cube/Pyramid/Triangular Prism? I had to run off extra blacklines because I discovered some children had gone to these four Work Places about five times each and could rattle off the answers!
Quilt making starts with Session 10. Here’s my classroom wall covered with the 9-Patch Mini-Quilts students constructed in Session 12. Notice that the quilts are sorted like the smaller pieces are in Session 10. After Session 12, I did an extension not in the book because I had tried out this activity several years before Bridges. Notice in the photo the papers are folded over at the top. That was done to hide the names. Every child got a sticky note and voted for their favorite quilt block, and the top three are on the right side of the photo. The favorite quilt received 9 votes. For the whole group lesson the following day Ihad every child make a duplicate of this large block. Then we put them all together into a class quilt. (With some designs you can try rotating the big blocks just like the children did when they created the small ones.) An interesting thing happened at Work Places that very afternoon. One of my most outstanding math students made the chosen quilt square on the computer in colors similar to the original design. She blew it up into a full size quilt with the button in the upper right of the screen. She called me over and said, “Look what happens when I put another dark square in the middle of the design.” She blew that up and it DID look better. So we showed the child whose block had been chosen both of her versions, and the child agreed that it looked better with the modification that could only have been seen using the computer! Here’s the whole thing. (This quilt is from a different year than the earlier pictures.)
Session 17, Shape Sorting & Graphing and related Work Place 4J is done the same way as Sea Creatures Sorting and Graphing back in Unit 2. If you recall Work Place 3F, the one where the children made the sea creature graphs, you may understand why I’m recommending you sit at that Work Place! Lots of assistance will be needed to come up with column titles and a graph title! Don’t miss Instructional Considerations on page 721. Keep these ideas with you as you help the children with this Work Place.
Finally, What Shape Will Your Bubble Be?, Session 20. First of all, this is an “optional” lesson, but it was one of the most memorable lessons of the year for my students. First piece of advice: I recommend not making your own bubble solution! It really has to be made a day ahead of time, and doesn’t always work that well. Consider going to somewhere like a dollar store and buy several of the giant bottles of solution. It’s inexpensive and so much easier!
I used straws that I cut to about 4” lengths to make the bubble apparatus, with about a 10-12” string (after tying). That way it can make a nice triangle and a rectangle.
First, give the children straws with string tied through the insides, having them pull it all together into a rectangular shape. Then ask what shape they think the bubble will be when they blow through the rectangle? Virtually every child I ask says “a square”. We do the experiment, and they’re surprised to see a round bubble appear. Next they form the straws and string into a triangle and I ask the same question. (See collage, top left.) Most still believe the bubble will be “a triangle shape”!
They had so much fun with this activity, and because I had earlier piloted the GEMS Bubble Festival book, I let them experiment. They put some solution on their desks, made bubbles with a straw, pushed straws in and out of the bubbles without popping them, made bubbles with their hands, etc. They were excited for the whole hour! Their desks were cleaner than they had been in months too! This was a lesson they wrote about in their end-of-the-year reflection.
Work Places 4L, Shape Bubbles, became a whole-group lesson for me. I had the children make their 3-D shape out of gumdrops and toothpicks all at the same time. Then I put them to work at their desks doing something like recreational reading, calling the children in groups of about four at a time to come outside the door to the sidewalk where I had put a deep table (water table). If you have never done this, you will be quite surprised at what happens when the children dip their creations in the bucket of solution! This is not a very good photo but you’ll get the idea. It was a sunny day, and someone dipped their wands in the solution and started to run in the beautiful spring sunshine, pulling a bubble through the shape. Soon everyone was following suit! But they weren’t out of control, they were just being playful!
I did Interview 2 as a whole class! Really. “Move your desk this far from anyone else’s desk. No more than this far. (Arms spread 2 1/2 ft. apart.) Not clear across the room.” I told everybody to spell the names of the shapes on the paper as best they could. (Don’t list words on the board.) I helped the few who struggled with spelling by whispering to them. Then I discussed the bottom half of the page and had them write it themselves. If you have someone who is working on his or her writing skills at this time of the year, take dictation, as the interview is not a writing test. The sample I attached is from a child who was later diagnosed in second grade as having a learning disability. Not all my children could do everything correctly! The student in this sample got all the shapes right except for the hexagon. In number two she was trying to say that the square has sides that are all the same. The pyramid has sides the same, but the bottom is not the same. The sphere became a circle that can roll. All I can remember about the triangular prism was something about sliding! This illustrates how you can read the answers as you quietly collect the papers and clarify any unclear words. The second page is done the same way. Here she realized the trapezoids were not rectangles and crossed them out. The triangles have three points.