Geometry….In first grade?!?!?

When most people think about geometry they think of something that you only start to learn in junior high and high school. You might be surprised to know that students as early as first grade are learning geometry. In fact the Common Core math standards that have have been adopted by forty-two out of fifty states have an entire domain devoted to geometry starting in kindergarten. (read more about the Common Core standards here:Common Core


So then what are first graders learning in geometry. There are three main standards in the geometry domain in Common Core:

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.1 Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.
    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.
    Partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of. Describe the whole as two of, or four of the shares. Understand for these examples that decomposing into more equal shares creates smaller shares.

There are many fun and interactive activities and videos that will get students working with shapes so that they get the foundations of geometry that they need to be successful in later grades. Here are three activities that students will love. These activities get them visualizing and physically creating shapes, both 2D and 3D.

2D Shapes with Toothpicks This activity gets students to think about the number of sides that a 2D polygon has. They will be physically moving and creating the shapes with the toothpicks. This activity might get a little messy but what first grader doesn’t like getting messy? from Mrs. Wheeler’s first grade blog


3D Shape Memory This activity gets students thinking about 3D shapes and how they can be found in everyday objects. Students will try to match the picture of the 3D shape with the picture of an object that they could find around the house or classroom. from Life over Cs


Author: Mr. Lodermeier

I am a teaching student at Bemidji State University. I want to teach grades 3-6. When I am not at some kind of school, which seems like never, like to travel. I also try to follow all Minnesota sports. GO Wild and Vikes!

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