Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Shapes are Everywhere

By: MAIRE CORBETT

Tuesday 05 February 2019

Maths was never my thing. I am proof that just because something has been taught, it does not mean it has been learned. I don’t know how many maths classes I sat through up to my Leaving Cert... but I never understood the relevance of trigonometry and theorems. Beyond arithmetic I was lost… and was first in the queue to buy a calculator! But geometry was different. The shapes and patterns interested me. I loved the shapes in architecture: arches and doorways, windows and balconies. I loved the shapes in nature: looking up at clouds, the silhouettes of tree branches against the sky, the shapes in ice when it cracks, in weather like we have had the last week. When I studied Montessori in college, the geometry material was my favourite. And it was at that age, using the Montessori material, that fractions made much more sense.

So, with shapes all around us, we really don’t need flashcards and lessons on shapes in toddler rooms and preschool rooms. Aistear’s principle play and hands-on experiences, encourages us to think about how children, in play, use their body, their mind, their feelings, and their senses. Another Aistear principle talks about relevant and meaningful experiences, saying that these kinds of experiences make learning more enjoyable and positive for children.

One-dimensional items, like flash cards, don’t provide for this. They are too abstract. Instead, it is better to have real, concrete materials. It is better to bring children out for walks, and together explore the shapes and colours that are naturally around us. Go for walks, look at the buildings, look at the trees and plants. Talk about the shapes of windows and doors. If you’re passing a castle, a church, a fountain, or town hall look at the windows, the roof, the doors. No need for research, just talk, draw attention to and take some photos (you and the children), so the conversation can carry on back at base.

Showing photos like this:

is meaningless, until you go outside and find some ice in a bucket, the top of the sand tray or in a puddle and ask the children to smash it. Hold the shapes, feel the cold, see it melt…then the image takes on meaning.

So, start the geometry… just tell no one that’s what you’re doing! You’re all having fun! 

 

Bio: 
Máire Corbett is an Early Childhood Specialist at Early Childhood Ireland. She trained in Montessori teaching and has completed an MA in Integrated Provision for Children and Families with the University of Leicester at Pen Green.

"Visiting member settings inspires me as I see the passion and energy educators put into providing great experiences for the children in their settings. I love seeing competent children at play!"

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

First 5(1) social media(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Health(1) refugees(1) Irish(1) Sport(1) Winter(1) Wrapping paper(1) linc(1) Competent(1) Treasure Chest(1) Challenges(1) Magnavacchi(1) Snakes(1) Window(1) Games(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Learning Story(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Oireachtas(1) Buddies(1) Research Conference 2019(1) First 5 strategy(1) Snacks(1) Thinking(1) ears(1) Funding(1) Event Guide(1) Administrative Burden(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(1) Sculptures(1) routine(2) CIT(1) Vertical grouping(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Independence(1) Seas Suas(1) Giraffe(2) Thanks(1) NCCA(2) Kids Own(1) Story(1) Quality(3) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Orla Kenny(1) curiosity(3) emotions(2) MECPI(1) Síolta(89) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Prexit(1) Limerick(1) Care-giving routines(1) Inter-generational learning(1) Family wall(1) Identity and Belonging(3) listening(1) Inclusion(1) Exit interview(1) Childcare(1) Names(1) Art(6) Titles(1) Relaxation(1) listen(1) Adoption(1) baby room(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) ECCE(6) journey(1) The Jelly King(1) Shapes(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Favouritism(1) interacting(2) Professionalisation(4) Environment(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Trick or treat(1) Eritrea(1) babies(5) Autism(2) Identity(4) EM Standing(1) Snack Time(1) curriculum(5) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) grandchild(1) Kerry(1) San Minia(1) Gratitude(1) Traditions(2) Care routines(1) Mealtimes(1) play(28) AIM(1) Smiles(1) Technology(2) Imagination(3) meals(3) Exercise(1) Mathematicians(1) Budget 2018(1) Facebook(1) early childhood educator(1) Empathy(1) Bereavement(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Wonder(1) Santa(2) Iraq(1) UNCRC(1) documentation(2) Academics(1) Primary School(2) Trade union(1) Cork(1) Music(2) TOY Programme(1) Community involvement(1) CPD(1) Sustainable(1) Recycling(2) Montessori(2) outdoor space(3) National Holiday(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Norway(2) DCYA(3) Inspirational(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) dogs(1) Love(2) transitions(9) Christmas Creativity(2) MA(1) Settling in(1) Investment(1) AsIAm(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) toddlers(3) Trigonometry(1) Weather(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Visitors(1) learning(14) Yoga(1) experience(1) Scents(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) dining(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) preschool(2) risky play(2) scéalta(23) Frustrations(1) Traffic Lights(1) respect(4) INTO(1) animals(2) Home Corner(1) Plants(1) Maynooth University(1) Qualifications(1) Blocks(1) Italy(1) Arts(1) Storytelling(2) Builders(1) Sustainability(3) development(6) Online(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) relationships(11) Photographs(1) Impact(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Performing(1) Early Years Educators(1) Light table(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Aistear(94) Children(1) Mud kitchens(1) reading(4) Culture(2) Queues(1) stories(2) Annual Conference 2019(1) Time(1) feisty(1) Children's Rights(1) Supernanny(1) Síolta QAP(1) GDPR(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Meal time(1) Role play(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) outdoor play(6) food(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Awards 2018(3) ReCreate(2) Inter-generational(1) dining experiences(1) Time Out(1) Treasure(1) Glitter(2) Awards(2) Grief(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Budget 2019(2) Engineers Week(2) PIP(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Recycle(1) Sweets(1) planning(1) Painting(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Loss(1) budget(1) RIE philosphy(1) Valentine's Day(3) bonds(1) STEM(2) Exploring(1) Buddy Bench(1) Childhood(1) ERASMUS+(3) Self-Esteem(1) communication(4) Party(1) Wesco(1) Upcycling(1) memories(1) Craft(1) parents(5) Trade Unions(1) UN(1) Nutrition(1) Wendy Lee(2) Communicating(1) NAEYC(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Creativity(4) Training(2) Syria(1) Consent(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) National Awards 2019(1) Dance(1) Teamwork(1) Confident(1) under 3's(3) University(1) risk(2) Malaguzzi(1) science week(2) Maynooth(1) Graduate(1) ICBN(1) National Awards 2018(2) Mental Health(2) National Pyjama Day(1) Albert Einstein(1) Appreciation(1) United Nations(1) San Miniato(3) Spiders(1) Our Little Seed(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Running(1) Little Buddies(1) Policy(2) Child mental health(1) Fantasy play(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) science(3) role playing(1) research(5) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Anxiety(2) Lego(2) Maths(4) Family(1) educarer(1) Change(1) Penguins(1) Twitter(1) Exclusion(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) SPICE Framework(1) Engineering(2) College(1) Gardening(1) Jenga(1) Belonging(3) books(4) worries(1) Children's Research Network(1) Capable(1) Socioemotional development(1) dublin(2) Celebrations(4) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Patterns(1) Routines(1) Educators(1) Thank you(1) friendships(1) Map(1) Brain(1) Leprechauns(1) Well-Being(5) Fabric(1) Degree(1) Masterclass(2) christmas(8) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) blog(28) St. Patrick's Day(1) Halloween(2) education(2) Early Learning and Care(1) Mark Twain(1) IGL(1) Book Club(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Leargas(1) Affordability(1) Certificate(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Interests(1) risk assessment(1) Research Seminar(1) Easter(1) Learning journals(1) ECEC(1) Behaviour(3) Decision Making(1) Positivity(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Scéalta Blog(72) Creative(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Pen green(1) Biting(1) Potential(1) Maths Week(1) Afghanistan(1) Meet the Members(1) Decisions(1) Playschool(1) Maria Montessori(1) Rituals(1) outdoors(3) Reggio(1) Interactions(1) Line-ups(1) Through the looking glass(1) Mixed age groups(2) Vietnam(1) Shoes(1) Touch(1) Celebrate(1) Mantra(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Pobal(1) Mayo(1) play stories(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) trust(2) Magda Gerber(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) environments(1) Xbox(1) Magic(1) Arlene Forster(1) Breathing(2) Advocacy(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Learning Stories(7) Maths Week Ireland(1) Graduation(1) Kilkenny(1) Awards 2019(1) Mo Scéal(1) Flowers(1) mushrooms(1) Laugh(1) Self-regulation(1) Obesity(1) Feeding(1) story time(1) Playdough(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Plastic(1) Arithmetic(1) Mindfulness(2) Access and Inclusion Model(1) educating(1) early years research(1) Sequins(1) Mount Everest(1) Cognitive development(1) Self Help Skills(1) pets(1) Tuscan Approach(2) overhear(1) Margy Whalley(1) community(4) Drawing(2) Laughter(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Wilenski(1) Stress(2) Ceremony(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Death(1) EECERA 2016(1) conversations(1) eating(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine