Professional Development

March 14, 2013

Is it “Figure” or “Shape”??

Figure or shape?  For so long we have called them 3D shapes.  My principal met with us last week after hearing a lady from TEA share this story:

I observed a teacher teach a great interactive lesson about 3D shapes.  It was very hands-on, the students were very engaged, and they had a solid understanding.  After the lesson, I asked the teacher if I could ask a student a question.  Of course she replied yes because she was confident in what her students knew.  I proceeded to ask a student if they could tell me the difference between a 3D figure and a 2D figure.  The student replied, “What is a figure?”

First of all, let’s all think about how NERVOUS we would be if someone from TEA was observing our lesson.  Secondly, can you imagine how you would feel if the TEA called you out on not using the right vocabulary?

I left the meeting and said to myself, “Well, I better change my teaching vocabulary this week!”

“Figure” is it!

I wanted to give you a peak at my new unit, “Shape” It Up!  It has been fun to create.

 I used half of it last week with my first grade friends.  They LOVED the figure poems.  We sang them all to the tune that the popular coin poems are sung to.  We also created the attribute bendy book!

This unit is structured a lot like my Money unit.  So if you liked that a lot, I know you’ll love “Shape” It Up!

I will give it away to one lucky winner!  Follow my blog and leave a comment telling me if you teach with the word “shape” or “figure”! ๐Ÿ™‚  Don’t forget to leave your email address, too! I will pick a winner Sunday afternoon.

Happy Teaching,


FREE Subitizing Cards

Make math FUN with this subitizing game. It includes numbers one through ten, and students play it similarly to War. Just download, print, laminate, and you’ll be totally set. Grab it today and boost your students’ math skills!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your studentsย loveย and that areย easy to implementย for teachers.ย ย Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, youโ€™ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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19 Responses

  1. I follow your blog and LOVE your TPT store…especially those CSCOPE aligned items!

    I am a first year teacher and I have only used the term shape so far! I am glad you posted this because now I caught my mistake early! I will for sure start using figure as well. I love how you used the term figure in this packet. It must be so frustrating knowing your students know the material but they can’t answer the question just because a term threw them off.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Amanda Craig
    [email protected]

  2. I generally have used plane shape (2-D) and solid figure (3-D). I do try to use both terms just so that students get used to the different vocabulary. In a testing grade, especially (3rd), I really try to use different terms (character traits/ characteristics, etc.).

    I didn’t know one was “correct,” but I think it’d be important to touch on both. Thanks for getting me thinking!

    Luckeyfrog’s Lilypad

    1. I don’t think one is correct. I think one is more commonly seen on STAAR-type test. I think we need to use them both! Coming from an older grade level ALWAYS makes you a better teacher! When I taught Kinder, I always felt like a stronger teacher because I truly knew where my students needed to be! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes! So scary! I’m so thankful that my school does not have TEA people observing all the time. The grass is NOT always greener! Thanks for your kind compliment! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Interesting…I never gave it much thought, but guess I am more of a 2d shape/3d figure. Would love a chance to win this so I can use the ‘correct’ terminology!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

    1. CSCOPE is definitely going to be a change for your team! In my 5 years of teaching, in 3 different districts, I have never used a math textbook or the consumables and my kids have always been a-okay!! You are FREE!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hopped over to your blog and am follower number 99!!! You are SO close!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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