Why Geoboards should be on your holiday gift list

This is a geoboard. It only costs about six dollars and is one of the most wonderful learning tools ever. You can use geoboards to teach counting, multiplication, division, geometry, fractions and a whole bunch of other things too.

But when it comes to using geoboards in the classroom, they present a major problem. Managing a bunch of boys with ready access to rubber bands is tough, even for an accomplished teacher. That’s why using geoboards at home with your child in a one-on-one setting is ideal.

Why are geoboards so awesome? Take a look a look at this picture of a square and triangle. By looking and counting I can tell that the area of this square equals 16 square inches. This also reinforces the multiplication fact 4 X 4 = 16.

But what about the area of the triangle? Well, I can see with my eyes that the triangle is cutting the square in half. I know that half of 16 is 8. So that means that the area of this triangle is 8 square inches.

You might remember from school that the formula for figuring out the area of a triangle is 1/2 bh. In this case, that would be ½(4 x 4) = 8.

But which makes more sense to you; looking at the geoboard and “knowing” that the triangle is equal to half of the square, or cranking through some formula?

Eventually, we want all students to master formulas. You can give your child a head start by teaching them geometry in a way that makes sense. I have a slew of geoboard lessons on Teaching My Baby to Read that can get you started.

I purchased my geoboard online, but you can also buy them at Children’s Bookshop &Teaching Supplies in Lynnwood. Another option is to make your own geoboard, using very simple materials.

Have fun with those rubber bands!

More in Life

From Jasper to Banff: A Canadian adventure in an RV

Jennifer Bardsley plans to take her family on two-week roadtrip through Canada in a tent trailer.

Skippers share sea stories at Marysville speaker series

The Bellingham couple will talk about charter cruises on the historic wooden vessel they rebuilt.

Anxiety, or chronic worry, is a growing problem

Paul Schoenfeld shares four approaches to help keep your anxiety from getting out of control.

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Find many of our region’s winter birds in the Skagit Valley

If you love birding, also check out these bird-related festivals, lectures and other events.

What’s new this year for travelers in England, Ireland

The nations are improving tourism infrastructures and adding exhibits to well-known sights.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

‘Three Billboards’ wins top prize at Screen Actors Guild Awards

Director Martin McDonagh’s dark morality tale beat out “Lady Bird,” “Mudbound,” “Get Out” and “The Big Sick.”

Bremerton teacher’s comic aims to defy black stereotypes

Boosted by a successful Kickstarter campaign, the series explores greed, power, racism and religion.

Most Read