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Geoboard: A Versatile Learning Tool

How many shapes with four sides can you make? How about shapes with five sides? One way to explore shapes is with a geoboard. This math manipulative offers an interactive and engaging method for teaching a variety of math topics including geometry, perimeter, symmetry, and more.

What Is a Geoboard?

A geoboard is a mathematical manipulative used to explore basic concepts in plane geometry. It consists of a square board with pegs or nails set in rows and columns, around which rubber bands can be stretched to create various shapes.

How to Use a Geoboard in the Classroom

Using a geoboard is simple. Users can create shapes with several different rubber bands or stretch one out. In the classroom, you can start by allowing students to explore the geoboard. Then, you can introduce learning activities related to topics such as area, perimeter, polygons, symmetry, and more.

Geoboard Activities that Support Learning

Discover some engaging ways to use geoboards in the classroom.

• Working with Shapes

The simplest use of a geoboard is to create different shapes. By stretching a rubber band around different pegs, you can create squares, rectangles, triangles, and other polygons.

• Ask students to copy the shapes into a notebook and label them.
• Ask students to compare and contrast shapes they’ve made. For example, the number of sides, vertices, size, etc.
• Have students make shapes that share one property such as 5 sides, 4 vertices, etc. Then, ask students to describe the shapes made and discuss how they’re similar or different.
• Exploring Area and Perimeter

You can use a geoboard to visually demonstrate the concepts of area and perimeter. For example, the area inside a shape created by the rubber band can be counted by the number of square units it covers. The perimeter can be determined by counting the spaces around the edge of the shape. You can take this further by asking students to solve for area and perimeter after creating different shapes such as rectangles and squares.

• Studying Angles

Geoboards are also useful for exploring angles. Students can create shapes with right angles, acute angles, or obtuse angles. Or, have students make different types of polygons and analyze the angles created.

• Exploring Symmetry

Symmetry goes hand in hand with angles. Invite children to create shapes that show line symmetry. Then, you can explore rotational symmetry. You can show students examples of rotational symmetry and encourage them to create their own models. For example, have students create a hexagon using triangles.

• Investigating Fractions

By creating shapes that cover part of the geoboard, students can get a hands-on understanding of fractions. Students can cover quarters of the geoboard using squares. Or, they can create eighths using triangles.

• Create Pictures

Show students images that they can recreate on the geoboard. For example, students can create a car, animal, or food on the geoboard. You can provide a template that students can copy. For inspiration, check out our virtual geoboard app which offers a variety of templates.

• Use the Geoboard with Graph Paper

Dive deeper into concepts by having students copy the shapes and designs they create on the geoboard onto graph paper. This helps students build visual and spatial awareness. Plus, you can ask students to perform additional tasks on the graph paper. For example, ask students to measure angles, draw a line of symmetry, or solve the area and perimeter of different shapes.

Benefits of Using a Geoboard

Using a geoboard offers a fun and engaging way for children to explore many math concepts. Here are some of the main benefits a geoboard offers:

• Promotes Concrete, Hands-On Learning

Geoboards offer an interactive, visual way of learning mathematical concepts. When introducing new concepts like polygons, angles, and symmetry, consider using a geoboard. After students become familiar with the idea, you can begin exploring the topic abstractly. For example, invite children to make many different types of polygons before learning to identify them based on the types of angles, numbers of vertices, and number of sides.

• Supports Fine Motor Skills

For younger students, using physical geoboards can help develop fine motor skills. Students must stretch the rubber bands and place them over the nails, which requires lots of hand-eye coordination.

• Encourages Creativity

Geoboards allow for open-ended exploration and encourage creativity. There’s no limit to the shapes and designs that children can create. From creating animals to making a new font with which they can write their name, see who can create the most creative design!

• Allows Students to Work at their Own Pace

With geoboards, each student can complete exercises at their own pace. Use geoboards for station or center work, or invite children to work with a geoboard as part of their homework. Because this math manipulative is interactive and easy to use, children can complete work independently.

Are you ready to try using a geoboard? Explore our online geoboard to create an engaging, fun learning experience for your students!

Geoboard: Designs

Geoboards are a valuable tool for teaching fundamental concepts of geometry. The book contains a collection of geoboard designs that help teachers explore concepts about symmetry, area, perimeter, and angles. Get your copy from Amazon today.