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Today's focus is 3D shape sorting!


Today is our last day on 3D shapes. Building on what your child did yesterday (if you haven't completed Monday's activity please do that before doing this activity), we are now going to sort 3D shapes.


For this activity you will need your vocabulary cards from yesterday and sorting hoops/masking tape like you have set up in our previous activities.


*To get you started you could revisit the songs from yesterday to recap the names of the 3D shapes. 


*Go around your home with your child and see if they can find the different 3D shapes that they learnt yesterday. Gather them together by placing in a bag or basket as you go. For each object they pick up you can extend their learning by only allowing them to put it in the bag/basket when they have named the shape (encourage your child to be as independent as possible with this, but support them if they are clearly unsure as this is not the main focus of today's activity).


*Take your objects to a clear space (table, carpet etc) and take all of their 3D shapes out. You can again say the names of each one as you take them out to reinforce this. Repetition is key when first learning names and new concepts in Reception.


*Now ask your child to have a go at sorting the 3D shapes. It is up to you how you ask your child to sort these shapes as there are many different ways. The best maths learning and problem solving skills can be developed by asking your child to think about how they could sort these shapes, coming up with their own sorting criteria. They may need support with a few prompts or you modelling how to sort one way initially but you may be surprised that they then can identify a viable way of their own!  However you sort, make sure you label the hoops/zones.


If you or your child are unsure of how to sort then take a look at these ideas below. They rank from easiest to most difficult...

- Sort by 3D shapes - spheres, triangular prisms, cubes, cuboids (matching to the labels in the sorting hoops/zones).

- Sort by if they have curved or flat faces. 

- Sort by how many faces they have.

- Sort by how many edges they have.

- Sorting by using a Venn diagram, where the two hoops overlay as pictured below.



*When you have sorted by their standard properties, why not explore the 3D shapes further?  We love testing each 3D shape on a ramp or slide and sorting by whether they roll or slide! The fun part is getting your child to predict if it rolls/slides and then working out and identify why it rolls or slides!


Need a stepping stone?

Keep your sorting simple and sort by their shapes. Then move on to exploring whether the shapes roll or slide, reinforcing the properties - faces and edges when explaining why it rolls/slides when your child has predicted what will happen.  Lots of modelling will be needed, but don't be tempted to give them all the answers. The trick to developing problem solving is that they need to find the answer themselves, supported only by you with prompts/clues if needed. 


Need a further challenge?

Before you go on to this challenge make sure your child has tried the different methods of sorting as listed above. If they have managed these then you can have a try at sorting by those shapes that have equal sized faces and those who faces are different sizes. This gets your child to closely examine the properties of 3D shapes and think more about size rather than just properties.