Carpooling is a great way to save money as well as time as you get your kids to school. Yet, for a smart parent, it’s more than that. During carpool you have your children and some of their friends in a confined space for a good amount of time, thus offering a great opportunity to learn. If you are driving, carpooling gives you the chance to reinforce important math concepts like 3rd grade geometry.
One such concept that becomes important in third grade is the ability to reason with shapes and their attributes. Third-graders must go beyond simple identification of shapes, and be able to visualize how they function in the real world. Driving through that real world in the carpool gives you a chance to work on this. If you have a third-grader or two in the carpool, consider reinforcing 3rd grade geometry ideas as you drive.
1. Identify Types of Angles
Streets, corners on signs and lines of all types that you drive by will converge at angles. Reinforce the 3rd grade geometry terms by identifying angles as right, straight, acute and obtuse while you drive. Make a game out of this by seeing who can identify the highest number of a type of angle in a set period of time. For example, say “Who can find the most right angles before the light turns green?” while sitting at a stop light.
2. Point out Shapes
Shapes, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, can be found just about anywhere. Teach the kids to identify them. Go beyond the square, triangle and rectangle taught in lower grades and start looking for octagons, hexagons and pentagons. Don’t forget about the different types of three-dimensional shapes, like spheres, cubes and prisms. You will be surprised at the places your children find these shapes once you start looking.
3. Use a Tablet
If driving requires too much of your attention or you are out of ideas for enforcing 3rd grade geometry, why not let technology help you? The tablet can be an excellent tool to capitalize on the time spent in the car. Thinkster Math offers instructor-led tablet-based tutoring for math at all grade levels.
Your child can progress with a game-like program and enjoy instruction from designated teachers at the point of learning that reinforces math concepts while you drive him and his friends to school. Because it’s on a tablet and because it’s fun, Thinkster will likely grab the attention of the others in the car as well, giving you a few moments of quiet while learning is happening in the back seat.