# Focusing on Geometric Attributes

### Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

A couple months back, I blogged about using attributes to define 2-dimensional shapes in a post called Why is a Triangle a Triangle?  I just finished up a little assessment my first grade teachers will use to assess their kiddos on attributes, and I thought I’d share it..

Here are a couple of things to notice:

• In question 1, the triangles all look different.  It’s important that kiddos see lots of types of each shape so they don’t have one fixed image in their head when they hear the name of a shape.
• Notice also in question 1 that some of the shapes are rotated.  That might not seem like a big deal, but kiddos need to know it’s still the same shape even if it’s turned.
• It’s okay for even first graders to use formal geometric vocabulary.  The students are learning the word vertex (vertices is the plural), so I included the more familiar word, corners, in parenthesis.
• You can introduce a little problem solving by requiring the kiddos to do something mathematically with the attributes, as I did in question 5.  Not only do they have to count the sides of each shape, but they need to understand that to combine them means to add them all up.

1. Thanks for the geometric assessment! I always enjoy looking at your blog!

2. I totally agree with your ideas about kids seeing different types of triangles. I have run into a lot of K-2 kids who think an equilateral triangle (green pattern block) is the only triangles that exists. There is such a wide range of triangles that kids should be exposed to.

Tara
The Math Maniac

3. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!
Amy

4. Thanks so much!!! 🙂

5. Thank you! I will use this with my first graders!