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

##### Tiny book “Tonic” packed with with homeopathic remedies

Tanita de Ruijt’s recipes help support your body’s natural defences and heighten your state of mind.

##### How kicking her sugar habit changed a Mill Creek mom’s life

Andrea Rosen quit eating sweets 3 years ago, lost weight, felt better and her family also benefited.

##### Exceptional eggplant: 4 recipes with the funny-shaped veggie

By Daniel Neman / St. Louis Post-Dispatch Let’s face it, eggplant is… Continue reading

##### How to roast Brussels sprouts to crispy goodness

Toss these compact cabbages with toss with homemade sweet and sour vinaigrette.

##### Ambiguity of ‘The Invisibility Cloak’ by Ge Fei is tantalizing

The story of a man offered to build an incredible sound system delves into odd turns and noir.

##### These tasty enchiladas take only 5 minutes in the microwave

Serve this Mexican-inspired turkey and refried bean dish with fried corn on the side.

##### Peanut butter helps West African-style stew find the ‘sweet spot’

This recipe is a colorful medley of sweet potatoes, tomato, bell pepper and collard greens.

##### Glass Quest: Find clue balls to trade in for hand-blown floats

The ninth annual Great Northwest Glass Quest is on Camano Island and in Stanwood through Feb. 25.

##### See migrating snow geese at birding festival next weekend

The Port Susan Snow Goose Festival in Stanwood features speakers, bus tours and kids activities.