Spatial Relations

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"More than Hearts and Diamonds" Activity

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This activity provides participants with an opportunity to explore the attributes of two-dimensional geometric figures in a way that mirrors an engaging preschool classroom activity, and to explore their own beliefs and attitudes about supporting children’s development in geometry and spatial relations.

by Linda M. Platas

Activity for Teacher Educators

This activity begins with participants reading the "More than Hearts and Diamonds" Vignette and the Making Shapes activity (download below). This can be assigned as homework prior to the session, or in the session before starting the activity. This activity can be done with or without the accompanying worksheet and PowerPoint slide. 


Group Activity and Share 
Have students get into groups of eight. Take the role of a classroom teacher and play the Making Shapes classroom activity with them. After playing, have participants sit down in their groups and discuss the questions listed on the worksheet or PowerPoint. Have them discuss in groups and then share out.

Teacher Responses and Where to Take Them
Teachers can have a lot of anxiety about whether they know enough to teach more than common shapes in the domains of geometry and spatial relations. As they play the game and later during discussions, encourage your participants to think about the mathematics in the creation of these two-dimensional shapes (e.g., the fact that as angles/participants are added, sides are simultaneously created in equal number). Scaffold conversations on how participants’ beliefs and attitudes about mathematics can affect the amount and kind of instruction that they provide in their classrooms.
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