so much learning from a simple, homemade geoboard!
In early childhood education, geoboards are used for a variety of reasons:
- to practice and promote fine motor skills
- to explore shapes
- to create letters and numbers
- to explore symmetry
- to build prior knowledge of geometric concepts (such as area and perimeter)
The above list isn’t exhaustive, and I bet you could come up with 5 more uses for a geoboard before you’re done reading this post! As with many educational items, it may seem simple, but it packs a punch with kiddos. Even better, it’s fun.
When I taught kindergarten, my classroom had a set of plastic geoboards. They were about 6 inches square, which was perfect for one or two children. Now that I’m teaching preschool, I wanted to incorporate geoboards in my class without having to spend any money. That’s when I remembered Hands On: As We Grow’s Push Pin Geoboard post. I’d pinned it a while back so I wouldn’t forget the link. (If you’ve never checked out Hands On: As We Grow, be sure to go do so! Jamie has a marvelous site filled with so many resources!) Her post is what inspired me to poke around my classroom for a few simple items.
So, this morning, I grabbed a cork board that wasn’t otherwise occupied, some push pins, and some rubber bands. It took me less than 10 minutes to put the board together before class started. Then I just set it out on a table, along with a pile of rubber bands, and sat back to watch the show. As the students trickled in, almost all of them spent some time exploring the geoboard. I’m sure there will be requests for it tomorrow!
I liked using the cork board, as it allowed a group of children to play at the same time. There was also more room to create larger shapes, designs and patterns. The students didn’t end up moving the push pins around to redesign the geoboard today. However, in the future I may lay out a box of push pins and let them go at it that way. Obviously, Mary Poppins or myself will be there to supervise!