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Math Development Blog CLD 317 Justin Cote


Name of activity: Lets make a Star!
Description of activity: Child A will be asked by an educator if they can help
them with making stars. If the child accepts the invitation, they can sit down at
the table. The teacher will ask Child A if they can fill in the star shape by using
the different wooden shapes. If the child does not initially attempt to make a
star, the educator will select a shape. The educator will hold up a shape in front
of Child As face, and allow for the child to reach out and start with that piece.
If the child does not grab the piece being held in front of it, the educator will
model the skill required by placing the piece inside the star.
The child will continue problem solving how to fill up the star. The educator
should be scaffolding by verbally documenting and inquiring about Child As
learning. Once the star is complete, the shapes will be kept in place but slid off
the star. If the child is still engaged, the educator can ask the child if they wish
to make another star. The educator can act as a provocateur and suggest to
the child to use different shapes. This extends the learning and allows for the
child to have the opportunity to compare and match different shapes.
Setting/Area: Quiet Thinking Area
Materials: Coloured wooden shapes, yellow tray, camera (documentation),
notebook (documentation)
ELECT curriculum expectations (ELECT, 2007):
2.6 Positive Attitudes towards Learning (accepting challenges and taking risks
when learning)
3.6 Listening to Others (understanding and following oral directions)
4.2 Problem Solving (taking action to solve problems)
4.5 Observing (visually attending to things in their environment)
4.6 Classifying (comparing objects)
4.17 Understanding Two-Dimensional shapes (recognizing and naming shapes)
5.3 Fine Motor Skills (Tool Use)

What do you want children to accomplish? What learning domains does

your activity support? I am aiming for the children to accomplish creating a
star using different kinds of shapes. I want the child to solve the problem of
what shapes to used, and how to place them on the star. This activity
supports the following learning domains: emotional, communication,
cognition and physical.
Explain how your learning plan is authentic and meaningful (how does it
support childrens everyday knowledge use? Children have already
developed a relationship with colours, and that ability to distinguish colors is
being transferred to shape exploration. The child will become familiar with
different shapes through inquiring, and that knowledge can be extended in
future projects. For example, extending 2-D shape investigation into 3-D
shape investigation, which leads to a class 3-D model of the city.
Describe how your activity will support children as they make connections
between what they already know and what they are learning in your
activity. The children have had opportunities to classify and sort materials by
their colour. That ability to classify colours will used to categorize shapes, and
compare the different attributes. The educator will model the names for the
shapes that child distinguishes, and can begin to associate the names with the
What teaching strategies will you use to support childrens inquiries? How
will you encourage children to articulate and reflect on their thinking? Using
play provocation to set up an activity that invites the child to discover. As the
child explores the materials, the educator can model comparing attributes of
different shapes. Using inquiry-based learning, the pace in which each task is
introduced can be changed to suit the child. Educators need to be observant
and recognize when the child is showing interest. Look for teachable
moments and opportunities to provoke questioning. Establish a mathematical
learning trajectory for the child by using the inquiry approach.

Math Development Blog CLD 317 Justin Cote



It is important that educators are able to engage

with the child in order to recognize opportunities
for learning. Using different tools such as
scaffolding, modeling, or provocation allows for
the educator to respond in a variety of situations.
Recognize if a child always selects a certain shape,
and compare It with another object in front of the
child. If the child is having trouble with problem
solving, present them with a different option.
Educators being fully present is central for
learning to take place (Bell, 2009).

Play provocation is an excellent tool to set up

opportunities to challenge childrens current
understanding of concepts, such as shapes. If the
child shows an interest in hexagons, set up the table
with a hexagon instead of a star cut-out. Observe
opportunities for exploration and teachable
moments. Asking the child if they can find shapes
that fit inside the hexagon lays the foundation to
recognize and match attributes.

As children progress through understanding the
foundation of a concept, such as shapes, began to
plan for the next step in development. Shapes can
exist inside other shapes, but do they exist in the
classroom? What about outside? Incorporating
different environments and nature allows for a
more realistic experience (Hewes and MacEwan,
2006). Go on a walk to visit to discover the
architecture of different buildings in the city. How
do shapes play a role in the construction of
different buildings?


How did you document childrens learning?
In this activity, it is recommended the educator use photos and
observation notes. Recording childrens experiences allows for
the educator to find teachable moments or interest from the
child that was missed during prior activities. Taking photos
allows for a visual representation of the childs learning, and
can help document observations that are difficult to transcribe.
It can also re-enforce observational notes.

Examples of documentation?
Running record: the child slides the blue rhombus shape in the right, middle side of the star
cut-out. He places the red square back into the tray, and grabs another blue rhombus. The
educator continues to ask the child about what other shapes they are going to use