What's The Angle?

I am writing this post from Sydney, Australia and it is late spring. The garden is full of life, I'm spending a lot of time in my hammock and the weather is beautiful! Well, it is today. It rained for a week before today! I'm not quite sure what inspired me to write about angles. Perhaps it is the view out my home office window - the carport, with its angular support structure. Or perhaps it really is because angles are all around us, so they creep into our subconscious and occasionally leap out into conscious thought! Either way, I have been thinking about angles a lot lately. 

In Australia, we don't start teaching about angles until 3rd or 4th Grade. By this time, students have a fair bit of life experience with angles in the real world. One of the best ways to help students get their head around the different types of angles is to tap into this real world understanding. Take your students for an angle-spotting walk around the school. Here are some angles to look out for:

Acute Angles
Look for slightly opened doors, gaps between a building and an eave, a slice of pizza in someone's lunch box, and triangles in architecture (at least two angles of a triangle will be acute).

Right Angles
Look for the corners of squares and rectangles in architecture, handball squares painted on the playground, windows, doors and bricks.

Obtuse Angles
Look for triangles in architecture (at least one angle of a triangle is likely to be obtuse) and the inner angle of triangular roof-tops.

Straight Angles
Look for straight lines - any kind - I think this one is pretty self-explanatory!

Reflex Angles
Look for open rubbish bin lids (we call them wheelie bins in Australia - the kind of bin with a hinged lid) and the outer angle of triangular roof-tops.

Look for a closed book, and 12 noon on an analogue clock.

Another fun idea is to have students make angles with their bodies. Divide students into pairs and have them lie on the ground with their feet touching. Call out an angle and have the pairs make the kind of angle you have called out with their bodies (the two students are the lines of the angle). 

I came across a terrific Pinterest board devoted to angles, which has lots of great ideas for teaching about angles. You can find it here.

In order to help students remember the different kinds of angles, repetition is the key. Once they are familiar with the terms, the more they hear them and use them in context, the more likely they are to remember which is which! 

In the Little Green TpT store, I have just posted a new resource to help your students review angles. It is a Scoot Review Game. I've made it a little bit Christmas to suit the season, but the theme is subtle enough that the set can be used at any time of year.

And I've also created a freebie for you: an Angle Identification Poster.

How do you teach angles? Can you think of any other good real-life examples of angles around the school? Please share your ideas in the comments. 

Kelly at Little Green

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