If you’ve been hesitate to incorporate math into your speech and language sessions, here’s an easy way I’ve been doing it.
Most of us have goals of following directions. We can easily cite English Language Arts Standards when working on these goals such as:
- Language 3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening (This standard pretty much has us covered, wouldn’t you agree?)
- Language 1: Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., Put your hand on top of your head),
- Language 1: Use frequently occurring conjunctions (Stand up and close the door, Raise your hand or pat the table)
but sometimes those math CCSS can be a little foreign to us.
For my older students I’ve been upping the ante by incorporating math into their following directions lessons and you can too!
1. Instead of your typical, “Put your hand under the table,” substitute terms with geometry shapes.
- “Place two hexagons in the middle of the card.”
- “Use two rhombi to fill in the shape.”
- “Last, use isosceles triangles to complete the legs.”
For even more of a challenge, I have my students take turns giving directions to me!
Do you see how simply changing the terms you use can give our students a little challenge AND address geometry goals? By doing this activity, my little one here was able to address the following CCSS:
- Geometry A1: Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
- Geometry A2: Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
- Geometry B5: Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.
- Geometry B6: Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”
And that’s just the kindergarten standards!!
2. This next activity uses three dimensional building and can be used the same way. I’ve even used this activity with my middle schoolers and older students as a barrier game to trade off giving each other directions. It can be tricky!
With this activity, we addressed the following CCSS:
- Geometry A3: Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).
- Geometry B4: Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/”corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
- Geometry A2: Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.
*These CCSS were taken from kindergarten and first grade only (which is a little scary, right that our kids are expected to know these at such as young age!) This is why it is important for us to incorporate math language into our sessions as well!