Mental Mondays #14

mental and oral mathsThis starter idea focusses on 2D Shape. In particular the properties of shape and the correct use of shape related vocabulary. Like most of our mental and oral starter ideas it can be used as a group or individual activity too.

It is related to the "Target Board" activity we explored in Mental Mondays #13

Here's how this one works. You show a grid of 30 numbered shapes:

shape identification - maths activity

 

Then ask children to write on mini-whiteboards the identification numbers that refer to particular shapes they can see on the grid, for example:

- A pentagon...

- A regular pentagon...

- A quadrilateral...

- A parallelogram...

- A shape with only one line of symmetry...

Clearly, the statements can be as complex or as simple as necessary. As we said in the description of our last Mental and Oral activity, the power that drives the learning here is in the discussions that the children have about what they are doing.

Many other potential statements can be created:

-  A hexagon with a right angle...

-  An octagon with only one line of symmetry...

-  Two pentagons where the identification numbers sum to 26...

And of course, the children could be encouraged to play their own version of "I'm thinking of a shape..."

The attached file is a large (1200 x 998) .jpg image of the 30 shapes, so you can use this as part of a PowerPoint, or display it directly on an IWB.


If you like this mental & Oral starter idea please send us some Google+ love, and let your friends and colleagues know about mathsticks.com

31 Comments

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Great idea.  Makes the

Great idea.  Makes the children think as not your usual collection of shapes.
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SarahER's picture

Perfect! I really needed a

Perfect! I really needed a grid of a good variety of 2D shapes, for an initial assessment activity. This looks like it will do the job perfectly. Thanks!
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SER
oudinot's picture

Used this once again. Such a

Used this once again. Such a simple yet versatile resource! Excellent for discussing shape. Also, asking children to generate their own appropriate questions is a good assessment tool.
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clairemc1's picture

Brilliant. Really useful as

Brilliant. Really useful as can be used as mental warm up and also as a plenary. Thank-you
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I will this as OMS first, but

I will this as OMS first, but also like the sound of the sorting idea.
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bobsport's picture

 Used this as a starter on

 Used this as a starter on the IWB with my Year 6 class.  They had to jot the numbers on whiteboards of shapes that fitted my criteria.  Could quickly identify who had problems and which areas needed more focus - concave was quickly picked up but symmetry a definite weak spot!  Kids enjoyed it and it really emphasised that not all shapes look like the regular ones in the shape box!
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johdu's picture

That's great. Thanks so much

That's great. Thanks so much for the feedback.  
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mrsreturner's picture

Used this an OMS and it was

Used this an OMS and it was very well received.
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Panthers's picture

Exactly what I was after,

Exactly what I was after, thank you.  Have been looking for some decent mental and oral starters for shape. 
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igoldman's picture

This activity also lends

This activity also lends itself to a sort activity, where students will be given the cut up squares (shapes) and asked to sort them , then explain to their partner how they sorted. . .and then asked to sort them again!
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johdu's picture

igoldman, That's a great

igoldman, That's a great adaptation for this resource. I love that the activity is so open-ended. Great maths, great language work, great problem solving / thinking skills. Thanks for sharing your idea and for your feedback. We'll look into adapting the layout of the shape images to make them easier to cut out.

Cheers, John

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igoldman's picture

 I am searching for problem

 I am searching for problem solving activities for our summer program, and these are exactly what I am looking for.  I saw this first on Pinterest, and then followed the link to your site.  Thanks for this gem!
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bobbin36's picture

Great resource, lots of

Great resource, lots of potential opportunities with this target board, I think I will use it with differentiated questions for 3 levels for a starter as it lends itself easily to this. Thank you.
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smileyhan's picture

Im going to try and use this

Im going to try and use this tomorrow to play shape 'Guess Who' with the children. Such a handy resource, thanks :)
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anisal's picture

Just downloaded this for a

Just downloaded this for a mental oral starter tomorrow! Will give the chn plenty of opportunity to practice the language they have learnt today and will engage them as they will play a guessing game :-)  Thank you!
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Jane Lipton's picture

This looks like a really

This looks like a really useful resource. I will be trying it out with my Year 5 class.
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fionaemitchell's picture

Really good idea looking

Really good idea looking forward to trying in class soon!
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Miss Morgan's picture

This looks great, going to

This looks great, going to try it out this week as a starter for a year 4 class. Will let you know how I get on!   Thanks for the resources.   Miss Morgan
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deeno's picture

 Simple but clever and

 Simple but clever and versatile...great.
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Could also use this as a more

Could also use this as a more open ended mental and oral starter - for example "Which shape is the odd one out in row 3 and why?" - hopefully would produce lots of mathematical dialogue on proprties of shapes perhaps extending to 3D shapes eg shape 4 is the odd one out because it is the only shape on the base of a prism etc. You could hide a shape and children have to guess what's hidden - or just partially reveal a shape and children have to discuss what the shape might be from just viewing a corner. Very useful resource, many thanks.
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johdu's picture

Really like your additional

Really like your additional ideas. Thank you for sharing.
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ebutler's picture

I think I'll be using this as

I think I'll be using this as a guided group activity first and then as mental maths or morning maths (year 2)
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sazzy.jane's picture

Great resource - I've been

Great resource - I've been looking for weeks for decent shape resources for a mixed ks2 class. This will be great as a mental warm up. Thank you  
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plf678's picture

 I'm going to try it as a

 I'm going to try it as a starter too.
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missleballeur's picture

Had planned to make something

Had planned to make something similar and then stumbled across your site, saving me lots of time! Brilliant - I look forward to checking out your other resources!
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lozza1980's picture

Great resources to use on

Great resources to use on smartboard to recap 2D shape properties.
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choccy biccy's picture

Another versatile resource -

Another versatile resource - great that I dont need to print and laminate this and can just add it to a smartboard file.
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 Great, I've been looking for

 Great, I've been looking for some decent 2D shape target boards!
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rkaur3's picture

A great resource thank you -

A great resource thank you - not many resources out there to do with shape but this is very good. 
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z_b_g's picture

Fantastic resource.I have

Fantastic resource.I have spent many evenings looking for decent shape resources to use with my yr.4 class and have found myself making resources over and over again. This shape grid serves many purposes and is now a well visited file on my computer. Thank you.
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