Geoboards are lots of fun for students of all ages. Shape templates can be found on most educational websites and blogs, even in the old-school teacher’s idea books we inherited from veteran teachers. They range from basic shapes, to complex designs using multiple rubber bands. These activities exercise those small muscles to develop fine motor skills, and engage the brain for higher order thinking necessary for advanced STEAM activities. Geoboards were missing from our homeschool classroom for several years, and have spent this school year in my file cabinet, still wrapped in the cellophane they came in. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to use them, I had just never made time to use them. These were a favorite of mine when I was a kid, and I knew my kids would enjoy them, so I ordered a set last summer from Amazon. The set even came with a few rubber bands, so there was really no excuse for not using them. I decided to look for a great opportunity to introduce them to the kids, and within a few days, I had found that opportunity.
Malachi has recently been working on rows and columns in math, so I thought it was the perfect time to get out the geoboards and get a little extra practice in. We’ve introduced ordinal numbers as well, so extra practice was needed in this area too. He got so excited about being the first of our kids to use this fun new manipulative. I let him explore it a little bit to get comfortable with stretching the rubber band around the pegs, and then I introduced the lesson to him. It was a hit!
Lesson: Review ordinal numbers and rows/columns.Instructions: Instruct the child to place the rubber band in a straight line along the row or column that you call out. Call out random rows or columns, using ordinal numbers to describe where the rubber band should be placed. Example: Place the rubber band in the 3rd row.
Variation 1: Have the child place the rubber band anywhere he wants, and you name the row or column.
Variation 2: Name starting and ending points. Example: Begin on row 1, column 3 and stretch to row 4, column 3.
Variation 3: Name starting and ending points in different rows and columns.
Variation 4: Download and print pattern sheets or task cards. These are available in many skill levels. Have the child create the patterns as directed on the cards. Geoboard Patterns
I hope that you and your children enjoy geoboards as much as Malachi does, and can find many more ways to use this fun manipulative in your own classroom. Leave me a comment with your ideas!