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:

quarantine(2) Nutrition(1) curiosity(3) Traffic Lights(1) multi-generational community(1) Mayo(1) Pre-School Services(1) Autism(4) development(9) early years learning(1) Maynooth University(2) Loss(1) Inclusion(4) Capable(1) Drawing(2) Special Needs Assistants(1) AIM(2) listen(1) Giraffe(2) democracy(1) Creative(1) staying connected(1) Mark Twain(1) play stories(2) LINC Programme(1) learning(19) parents(7) Budget 2019(2) Communicating(1) Workplace well-being(1) Your place(1) preschools(1) Early Years(1) Irish(1) developing motor skills(1) creche(1) meals(3) Human Resources(1) Lego(2) Running(1) ECIAwards20(1) babies(7) Playschool(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Creativity(7) Time Out(1) racism(1) Family wall(1) Albert Einstein(1) Kerry(1) Treasure(1) Elders(1) Learning Stories(9) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Learning through Storytelling(2) Advocacy(1) IGL(1) child-centric(1) bonds(1) Sessional service(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Relaxation(1) Meal time(1) Pen green(1) phone apps(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Trade Unions(1) Training(3) scientific and artistic processes(1) Japan(1) RIE philosphy(1) scéalta(60) Titles(1) Regulation 23(1) UNCRC(2) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Feeding(1) Covid-19 lockdown(1) Supernanny(1) early childhood ireland research(1) Arlene Forster(1) Facebook(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Sleep(1) Kindness(1) aistear blog(4) play(37) Primary School(3) Games(2) University(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Inspirational(2) pets(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Magic(1) Iceland(2) Orla Kenny(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Anxiety(2) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Childcare(3) online training(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Budget 2018(1) Environment(2) SAC(1) Blocks(1) Eritrea(1) Identity and Belonging(4) DCYA(6) National Awards 2019(1) Sweets(1) Challenges(1) Awards Night(1) Irish guidelines(1) conference(1) Santa(2) STEM(3) GDPR(1) Youtube Series(1) Diversity(2) Line-ups(1) Culture(2) Identity(5) Body Language(1) Social Skills(1) early year’s classrooms(1) CPD(1) social media(2) memories(1) Kindness Challenge(1) Socioemotional development(1) Return to Work Training(1) EECERA(1) refugees(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) eating(1) Reggio Emilia(2) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) feisty(1) Síolta QAP(1) Counting(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Scéalta Blog(106) Thanks(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Workforce(1) children development(1) play pod(1) Inspections(1) Trick or treat(1) EECERA 2016(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Weather(1) Support(1) Technology(3) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Nonverbal(1) Administrative Burden(1) peer group(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Children's Rights(3) childcare services(1) outdoors(4) QRF(1) Through the looking glass(1) Wonder(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Book Review(1) outdoor environment(1) Confidence(1) Snacks(1) Fabric(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Little Buddies(1) Early Childhood Ireland(10) National Holiday(1) Looking Forward(1) Snack Time(1) linc(2) ECEC Setting(2) Maths(6) Inter-generational learning(2) Children's Voice(1) Exercise(1) Mental Health(4) Small World Play(1) United Nations(1) reopening(1) primary education(1) Health(2) Prexit(1) Magda Gerber(1) social science(1) Margy Whalley(1) Celebrate(1) Stress(2) food(1) Seanchaí(1) Meet the Members(1) Skillnet(1) Children(8) Europe(1) Afghanistan(1) Interaction(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Our Little Seed(1) reopening ireland(1) HR(1) learners(1) Interactions(3) Annual Conference 2019(1) Photographs(1) Trade union(1) science week(2) inspiring interactions(1) Interests(1) COVID-19(18) Change(1) natural environment(2) Gardening(1) Employee(1) Communications(1) women in research(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Cork(1) art of the relationship(1) Flowers(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Sustainability(3) preschool settings(1) Pedagogy(2) Pobal(1) Iraq(1) First 5 strategy(1) Kids Own(1) Building Resilience(1) emotional environment(2) Obesity(1) Trigonometry(1) Visual Impairment(1) dogs(1) Infection Control(1) gender bias(1) Malaguzzi(1) Covid pandemic(3) annual awards(1) European Project(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(2) Budget 2020(1) World Health Organisation(1) Limerick(1) risk assessment(1) healthy eating policies(1) emotional well-being(1) Self-Esteem(1) child-centred approach(1) Time(1) transitions(10) Potential(1) Snakes(1) RTE Investigates(1) Children and families(2) Academics(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Laugh(1) Looking Back(1) children’s learning(1) Treasure Chest(1) Buddies(1) Graduate(1) NCCA(4) awards 2020(1) Unesco(1) community(5) Xbox(1) Engineering(3) early life(1) Laughter(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Community involvement(1) Maths Week(1) Workplace Relations(3) Large Doll Play(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) supportive environments(2) Digital(1) Nordic model(1) Montessori(3) Learning Story Awards(2) Rituals(1) behavioural science(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Nuturing interactions(1) responsive relationships(1) built environments(1) Study Trip(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Story(2) Pobal sector profile(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) homeschool(1) Maternity Leave(1) Early Years Educators(3) story time(2) Patterns(1) Event Guide(1) Summer(2) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Equality(1) youdoodle(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Certificate(1) Queues(1) communication(4) Pretend Play(1) early years research(3) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) upskilling(1) Shoes(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) learning bias(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) mental health problems(1) worries(1) Siolta blog(8) Opportunities(1) Mealtimes(1) Learning Story(1) Biting(1) Shapes(2) DES Inspection(1) Love(3) Covid response(2) ECCE(7) life long learning(1) Awards 2018(3) Ceremony(1) overhear(1) Sequins(1) Vertical grouping(1) Children's Research Network(2) Fantasy play(1) Glitter(2) National Childcare Scheme(1) child led(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) Wesco(1) ears(1) PIP(1) Decision Making(1) risk(2) Reggio Children Network(1) Mixed age groups(3) Rising to the Challenge(2) Affordability(1) Yoga(1) Italy(1) reading(6) Painting(1) Mo Scéal(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) ICBN(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Childhood(2) maternity health(1) education(2) Favouritism(1) risky play(2) democratic citizens(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) The Jelly King(1) Winter(1) annual conference(1) School Age Childcare(2) an post(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) SPICE Framework(1) Consent(1) experience(1) nutritional learning(1) ECEC(4) Academic Skills(1) Death(2) Mindfulness(3) trust(4) Plastic(1) Routines(2) Wilenski(1) Gratitude(1) Book Club(2) family time(1) Women(1) science(3) Learning Journal(2) guardian(1) Family(1) CCTV(1) education system(1) Independence(1) Proceedings Journal(1) MA(1) Impact(1) College(1) Design(1) dolly parton library(1) Care-giving routines(1) collaboration(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Loving Relationships(2) learning hub(2) Maria Montessori(1) planning(1) Well-Being(10) Document Learning(1) Whole Group(1) Horizon 2020(1) Imagination(3) Research Seminar(1) social media policy(1) conversations(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Storytelling(8) Smiles(1) Spiders(1) Arts(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) playleader(1) Frustrations(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Research Conference 2019(1) christmas(9) TOY Programme(1) june29(1) Wrapping paper(1) Vietnam(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) pablo(1) partnership with families(1) interacting(2) presentation skills(1) Funding(1) Rich Documentation(1) NAEYC(1) Scents(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Buddy Bench(1) Jenga(1) Behaviour(3) COVID(3) Engineers Week(2) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Fee Play(1) Mount Everest(1) Recycle(1) Belonging(3) Thank you(1) budget(1) lockdown(1) Competent(1) INTO(1) coronavirus(1) gender stereotype(1) Oireachtas(1) play pods(2) journey(1) San Miniato(4) Síolta(140) Grief(1) Leargas(1) preschool(4) Celebrations(4) Empathy(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Online Research Symposium(3) animals(2) outdoor space(3) baby room(1) relationships(18) Sport(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Growing up Outdoors(2) doodle families(1) Staff Motivation(1) Settling in(4) movement behaviours(1) educating(1) blog(59) Builders(1) ERASMUS+(3) Confident(1) Sustainable(1) Online(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Penguins(1) Wendy Lee(4) Plants(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) respect(5) Magnavacchi(1) Valentine's Day(3) Child Care(1) imotion(1) play therapy(1) Recycling(2) Dance(1) friendships(1) Masterclass(2) AsIAm(2) Maths Week Ireland(1) grandchild(1) Twitter(1) Mathematicians(1) E.coli(1) Map(1) UN(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) quarantine kids(1) environments(2) First 5(1) Adoption(1) Infectious diseases(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) under 3's(3) St. Patrick's Day(1) UK(1) Music(3) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) UD(1) Craft(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) worldbookday(1) Engagement(1) Positivity(1) Self-regulation(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Easter(1) toddlers(3) Ariana Pucci(1) Qualifications(1) dublin(2) Exclusion(1) educarer(1) Syria(1) Names(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Kilkenny(1) Care routines(1) MECPI(1) Light table(1) keezy(1) Decisions(1) Children's Book Club(1) Aistear(132) Exit interview(1) Educators(2) child safeguarding(1) Return to Work(1) iOS(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Leprechauns(1) Teamwork(1) Self Help Skills(1) Cognitive development(1) purpose(1) Role play(1) curriculum(7) Professionalisation(5) routine(2) books(5) mushrooms(1) Mud kitchens(1) TRAP(1) Breathing(2) emotions(2) Bereavement(2) Dolly Partons Imagination Library(1) Learning journals(1) partnership(1) Child mental health(1) Graduation(1) Universal Design(2) early years settings(1) Window(1) Home Corner(1) Inter-generational(2) Playdough(1) CIT(1) Norway(2) Traditions(2) code of ethics(1) Reflective Practice(1) research submissions(1) continual professional development(1) Early Learning and Care(2) UK Government(1) early childhood educator(2) Pedagogical leaders(1) Quality(4) EM Standing(1) Policy(2) Maynooth(1) Investment(2) UNICEF report(1) bloom app(1) National Awards 2018(2) Inspiring Practice(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Art(6) Digital Devices(1) Participation(2) New Appointments(1) documentation(4) Exploring(1) Halloween(2) Childhood Development Initiative(1) Performance Management(1) role playing(1) Visitors(1) Upcycling(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Exploratory Play(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) Awards(2) Hand Hygiene(2) Arithmetic(1) Early Years Education(1) Reading Time(2) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) research(8) early childhood(1) Degree(1) keep in touch(1) Reggio(1) man up(1) outdoor play(7) listening(1) Thinking(1) Seas Suas(1) Party(1) Brain(1) doodle den(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) apps for children(1) Intention(1) InspireMe.ie(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) dining(1) Sculptures(1) ReCreate(2) dining experiences(1) Performing(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) structure(1) Appreciation(1) show and tell(1) Fire Safety(1) World book day(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Awards 2019(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Leadership(1) Early Childhood Education(1) Touch(1) TUSLA(1) timekeeping skills(1) STEAM(1) ELC(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Mantra(1) stories(3) Research and Professional Learning(1) Anthony Semann(1) Croatia(1) International Narratives(1) value(1) Scéalta Book Review(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine