Polygon Hierarchy

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My fourth grade class has been exploring geometry and polygons.  They’ve been comparing polygons and looking closely at how to classify them.  Students are familiar with these shapes and can classify them by their looks. Students were confident early in the week as they were able to label polygons based on side length, angles, and sides.  Things started to change when the word hierarchy was introduced.  The word is new to most of my students so the class first reviewed the term.

Students were then given a paper full of shapes.  They cut out the shapes and used their desk to classify them.  Students classified the shapes according to their attributes.  Some students sorted the polygons by angle size, while others used symmetry or side length.

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Students were finished in about ten minutes.  The class took a gallery walk and reviewed all the other ideas.  Students discussed which polygons met or didn’t meet the category title.  Students then went back to their seats and reviewed the term hierarchy again.

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The class took the cards and taped/glued them to make their own hierarchy.  Students are starting to see the characteristics of polygons in a different light.  This is good news as later on in the year students will use polygon characteristics to find area measurements.  They’ll also be transforming the polygons on a grid in about a month.

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I’m looking forward to the polygon discussion tomorrow.

Side note:  This is my 300th post.  I had no idea that I’d be writing so much over the years, but it’s been an amazing journey.

Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.

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