Classifying 3-D Shapes Using Interactive Math Notebooks and a FREEBIE!

As a teacher, I always love teaching geometry. It's a chance for students to shine in a way that they might not arithmetically. Some of my brightest stars in geometry are kids who struggle with computation and fact-fluency. My spacial learners soar during this unit!

I can't wait to share how well our math lesson went today classifying 3-dimensional shapes. I don't know about you, but I don't have a wealth of resources at my disposal for this particular standard. However, my spacial learners (and all learners, for that matter) deserve the opportunity to construct these shapes in order to tangibly classify them.

In order for my fifth graders to find meaning in computing the volume of a 3-D shape, they should be able to point to and touch the length, width, and height of a particular object. However I don't have 34 3-D shapes at the ready for students to manipulate. So, what do we do? We create them. Alas, the FEAR of cutting-and-pasting stops me. (GASP - Every teacher's nightmare! Why do they become so enthralled with cutting that they COMPLETELY lose focus on the task? That is, until now.)

I've created an easy, effective way to construct and label a 3-dimensional shape based on its faces, edges, and vertices. This 3-D shape can be glued into their math notebook to refer back to for homework or re-teaching purposes.  Take a peek at my store or click on any of the pictures to download this FREEBIE.

Here's an example of what the finished product looks like in our math journals. It took less than ten minutes to build these tangible notes for 3-D shapes. 

We took notes on each of the parts of the shapes. This sample is created from scratch. But I've created a FREE template which makes is even easier for you! 

After cutting along the dotted line and glueing the top section down, we took notes behind our shape which included definitions of key vocabulary concepts concerning 3-D shapes. This is all leading up to the BIG concept of volume in shapes.

Here's an example of my pre-made template. I would use this for MY example in my math journal. However, I would have students use the latter example during which they label the face, edge, and vertex. 

This is the student-friendly version. I've shaded one face of the shape, which replaces my example where we crosshatched (old-school, I know). 

I really hope that you will find this useful in your teaching. 


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