Math iPads and Hunting for Geometric Shapes

Teachers can use iPads in their geometry classrooms to encourage students to apply mathematical concepts to real world examples. By creating presentations on their iPads (as shown in this activity in which students look for concentric circles) students play the role of teacher, explaining what they have learned through their own research into math and its application in the real world.

Hunt for geometric shapes using iPad
Submitted by Julie Hersch, Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School
Grade level 3rd- to 4th-grade math
Objectives Students learn about the properties of concentric circles by relating them to objects in the real world.
Apps/tools iPad 2 (or higher); iOS 5.1 (or higher); presentation app such as Keynote, iMovie, ShowMe, Explain Everything
Materials needed Anything in the immediate environment

Using visual prompts, students break into groups and discuss the properties that distinguish and define concentric circles. Once they arrive at a consensus, students are sent on a scavenger hunt in pairs to find examples of concentric circles around campus and take photos of them.

Students return with examples that include sink drains, door knobs, cart wheels, clocks, and more. Each group prepares a narrated presentation of the images that they found.

One interesting departure was that some students wanted to create a quiz with their images, some of which looked like concentric circles but weren’t. As one example, there was a series of hula hoops hung up on a wall that looked like concentric circles but didn’t actually have the same central point.

It’s interesting how students were able to deepen their knowledge of a concept by presenting patterns that actually didn’t match the required definition.

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