## Dear Family, your Operation Maths guide to 2-D Shapes

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Dear Family, given below is a brief guide to understanding the topic of 2-D shapes, as well as some practical suggestions as to how you might support your children’s understanding at home. Also below, are a series of links to digital resources that will help both the children, and you, learn more about 2-D shapes . The digital resources are organised according to approximate class level:

#### Understanding 2-D Shapes

**Why do children need to learn about shapes? **Learning to recognise different shapes not only helps children learn about this maths topic, but, in the early years, it also develops their ability to recognise numbers and letters by their shape. This skill will also transfer to other signs and symbols, be they maths symbols such as +, =, <, > etc., or signs and symbols in the real world e.g. road signs, safety signs etc.

**Naming shapes: **2-D shapes is short for two dimensional shapes, i.e. shapes with length and width, but not depth/height. Also called flat shapes, these include circles, squares, rectangles, triangles etc. 2-D shapes can be a bit confusing for both adults and children; for example, a real ball is not a 2-D shape, it is a 3-D object called a sphere, but if a ball is drawn, or shown in a picture, then the flat representation of the ball in the image is now a circle! And a box is not a 2-D shape, it is a 3-D object called a cuboid, but the flat surface of a box is usually the 2-D shape of a rectangle or sometimes a square. So, if looking for 2-D shapes at home, ask the children to examine the flat surface of objects and/or to look at the flat shapes in a picture book or magazine.

**Properties of Shapes: **2-D shapes also have properties or characteristics that make them different from other 2-D shapes. A shape with three straight sides and three angles (also referred to as corners or vertices) is always a triangle…but as the children get older they will also realise that some triangles have three equal sides (equilateral), some triangles have only two equal sides (isosceles) and some have no equal sides (scalene). Through an understanding of what makes a shape that shape, the children can start to group shapes with similar properties or characteristics together. So, if exploring 2-D shapes, draw the children’s attention to properties such as the number and type of sides (equal, not equal, straight or curved), the number and type of angles/vertices (equal, not equal, right angles or not).

Children in the senior end of primary school will further classify shapes into named groups, for example, they will identify different types of triangles, polygons (any shape with straight, non-curved sides) and quadrilaterals (four sided shapes, *quad *= four) and explore the different properties (size/shape of angles, length of sides) that make each one unique. They will learn more detailed terminology about the parts of shapes, especially the parts of a circle. They will also be asked to solve various problems (for example finding the measure of an unknown angle or side) based on what they know already. This is preparing them for the type of geometry they will meet in second-level maths.

#### Practical Suggestions for Supporting Children

**Shape hunts:**Play games like “I spy, with my little eye, something the shape of a rectangle” etc. Again, be careful that you affirm with your child that it is the surface or face of, for example, the door, that is a rectangle, not the entire door (which is in fact another cuboid i.e. a 3-D object). Look out for 2-D shapes on posters, road signs, billboards, wallpaper and in picture books. With older children, encourage them to notice that while each shape group has a key feature in common, each individual shape is different; for example while every triangle must have 3 sides, they also can have different size angles and sides. Look around for different triangles!**Play, play, play!**Encourage your child to play and explore with 2-D shapes as much as possible:- Make 2-D shapes with sticks, string, playdoh, pastry, creating imprints in sand, mud, pastry, etc. Use construction toys such as Lego, K’nex, Geomag and Plus-Plus to create 2-D shapes and then build them further into 3-D structures.
- Draw 2-D shapes and cut them out, create pictures, patterns, designs etc. Perhaps you have a spirograph toy somewhere in the house? Dig it out and give it a spin (excuse the pun!).
- Solve shape puzzles. One of these are tangram puzzles. This ancient Chinese 7-piece puzzle, provides an excellent way to develop a child’s ability to manipulate and visualise shapes. You can often buy reasonably priced plastic or wooden tangram puzzles in local book and toy shops. You can also print out a set of trangram pieces and use them to solve the numerous puzzles available on line. Or you can play an interactive tangram puzzle game.
- Other very worthwhile shape puzzles include tetrominoes (like the Tetris game of old) and pentominoes. You can also download games, based on many of these shape puzzles to your device; just search your app store for tangrams, tetrominoes/tetris and/or pentominoes.

**Programming**If your child does programming, or is interested in trying it out, they could use a free programme such as Scratch to draw various types of 2-D shapes.

#### Digital Resources for Infants

The Number Jacks have quite a number of 2-D shape-based episodes including Round and Round, Square Dancing and Very Shapely.

Shapes Songs Collection: a collection of songs that teach children the names of common shapes.

2-D Shapes: A video lesson from Matholia introducing common flat (2-D) shapes, including squares, circles, triangles and rectangles.

Shape Monsters: an ideal introduction to 2-D shapes for young children. Children need to feed the monsters with the correct shapes. The monsters then say the name of the shape they’ve eaten.

Pattern Blocks: Make numerous designs, pictures etc with these interactive pattern blocks. You can also choose a puzzle to complete.

Geoboard: Make lots of different shapes using this interactive geoboard, free from the Math Learning Centre.

Kid’s Tangrams: a simple version of the puzzle that would suit infants.

Construct it! A shape puzzle that starts off easy but gets more and more difficult.

Flat Shapes: A selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. Activity K1-K6 are all about flat, 2-D shapes.

Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.

For more links to shape videos and songs, click here.

#### Digital Resources for First and Second Classes

*NB: Children in first and second may also enjoy the links for infant classes, above*

Tangrams: interactive puzzle pieces that can be rotated to complete the shape.

Shapes in Figures: A video lesson from Matholia that explores the 2-D shapes in other figures.

Describing and Naming Shapes: A video lesson from Matholia describing the properties of common flat (2D) shapes, including squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, semi-circles and quarter circles.

Who am I? A video lesson where children have to identify the 2-D shapes from their properties and pictures. The shapes at the beginning are those relevant to first and second classes and the latter shapes are more relevant to 3rd class up.

What am I? Read the clue on the card; do you know what shape is being described? These are printable but they could also be downloaded, read out and answered out loud, without having to print.

That Quiz Shapes: lots of different options here; start with “identify” and chose the shape names and level of difficulty to suit.

Pattern Blocks: Make numerous designs, pictures etc with these interactive pattern blocks. You can also choose a puzzle to complete.

Geoboard: Make lots of different shapes using this interactive geoboard, free from the Math Learning Centre.

Construct it! A shape puzzle that starts off easy but gets more and more difficult.

2-D Shapes: A selection of games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription. Activity M1-M5 are all about 2-D shapes.

Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.

#### Digital Resources for Third to Sixth Classes

*NB: Children in these classes may also enjoy the links for first and second classes, above*

Maths is Fun: Background information on 2-D shapes as a part of geometry.

Matholia: Various video lessons from Matholia exploring the properties or characteristics of a rectangle, square, triangle, rhombus and trapezium.

Who am I? A video lesson where children have to identify the 2-D shapes from their properties and pictures. The shapes at the beginning are those relevant to first and second classes and the latter shapes are more relevant to 3rd class up.

What shape am I? This time you have to identify the shapes just from their properties. Make sure you guess before clicking on to see the answer!

Shapes under the Sea: Answer questions on 2-D shapes to collect crystals and complete the game (also has a 3-D shapes topic).

That Quiz Shapes: lots of different options here; start with “identify” and chose the shape names and level of difficulty to suit.

That Quiz Triangles: lots of different options here; to **identify** different triangles, to calculate the **measure** of the angles, **perimeter**, **area** etc. Just chose the options and level of difficulty to suit.

2-D Shapes: Lots of useful information about 2-D shapes from BBC Skillswise, including a video highlighting 2-D shapes in the real world.

Pienado: A 2-D shape adventure game where you need to use 2-D shapes, in various positions, to plug gaps in a forcefield.

Shapes in space: Blast the space rocks by answering the question correctly.

Classifying Triangles: a video which shows how all triangles are not the same.

IXL: A selection of geometry games from ixl.com. You can do a number of free quizzes each day without having a subscription.

Kangaroo Hop: Get your kangaroo to the finish line first by choosing the correct 2-D or 3-D shapes.

Matching Shapes: A type of memory game.

Khan Academy – Properties of Shapes (5th and 6th class): Watch this series of videos on triangles and quadrilaterals and answer the practice questions

I know it – Quadrilaterals: Interactive quiz

Khan Academy – Coordinates: (6th Class) Watch this series of videos and answer the practice questions

That Quiz Coordinates: (6th Class) From the options on the left hand side select **identify/plot/both **and** quadrants I**.

Polygon quiz: Name the polygons by dragging the names into the correct places.

Math Games: a whole suit of geometry games, for all class levels; choose the skill you want to practice.