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Hutchinson Life Skills Class Uses New Curriculum to Explore Geometry

 Ali Cox’s Life Skills classroom was in tip-top “shape” as she engaged her students in a geometry lesson from the new TouchMath curriculum that began being implemented this year. Her Hutchinson Elementary class, primarily consisting of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, recently learned the attributes of 2-dimensional shapes and have moved on to focusing on 3-dimensional solid objects.  Using pictures of real-world objects, Mrs. Cox encouraged her students to compare the shapes on their pictures to images of a sphere, rectangular solid, cone, cube, and pyramid, then sort them by placing their picture on the corresponding 3-D shape.  Mrs. Cox and her students continued to observe, compare, and discuss shapes as they searched a real-world scene to discover that 3-dimensional shapes can be found in the everyday objects that surround them.  Items from home, such as cans, dice, and boxes, allow the students the opportunity to take a hands-on approach as they compare and contrast the various solids.  The goal for the students is to master the names of the 3-dimensional objects, as well as differentiate between 2-D and 3-D objects.

The TouchMath curriculum uses a multisensory approach using clear visual presentations that incorporate hands-on experiences related to real life.  Units are broken down by topic, enabling Mrs. Cox to differentiate instruction and allowing students to work through the program at their own pace. Through the use of manipulatives, posters, pencil-and-paper activities, and technology, students are engaged in a well-rounded math experience.

A graduate of Clarion University, receiving both her Bachelors and Masters degrees, Mrs. Cox is now in her tenth year of teaching.  She currently has 13 students in her Life Skills classroom, and also works with her students to run the Student Pencil Store.  Mrs. Cox reported, “I love teaching and enjoy the excitement that each day brings in my classroom.”  By leading her students in investigating, discussing, cooperating, and creating, Mrs. Cox is “shaping” the future of her students through her hands-on, interactive approach to teaching.

Roman and Kaiden  
 Shape Sort