Friday, March 30, 2012

3D Shape Hunt

This past week we spent several days learning about 3D shapes as part of our Geometry unit math. In past years I have found that students love this unit and there are many opportunities for hands-on learning when learning about polygons, symmetry and 3D shapes. This year I wanted to add a bit of a tech twist for my class by incorporating the use of our iPads. 
In our current math series, there isn't much time spent on 3D shapes short of learning their names and characteristics- most of which is spent looking at wooden representations of these shapes or pictures in our math journal (boring!). So to spice things up a bit and make our learning more real-world, we went on a 3D shape hunt using the cameras on our iPads to find and photograph real-life examples of 3D shapes. Students worked in groups of three (we only have 5 iPads available to us) and had a check list of the shapes we had studied. 

The next day, I introduced them to the FREE app, Pic Collage. I spent about 10 minutes going through the important aspects of using this app as well as my expectations for their finished product. We discussed how to bring their pics into the app, how to move them around and resize them and how to insert text. Students then worked with their teams to import all of their pictures, label each one with the correct shape name, and then experiment with changing the background. Once they were happy with their creations, they emailed my their finished product to add to our classroom blog. With any extra time they had left, they were able to further explore the app and how to crop pictures, change the font and color, etc.
Here are some examples of our finished projects. THe kids had a blast while also showcasing what they had learned in a very hands-on and engaging way!


  1. Love it... we did a 3d shape hunt with digital cameras this year and then made a photostory telling what each item was and where we found it. I had to help a lot with that part though so I really like your idea..... although I only have 1 ipad:(

  2. Thank you for this fabulous idea!

    I teach Year 3 in New Zealand (7 year olds) and this was a great activity for us to do today to help with our 3D shape learning. I haven't used Pic Collage before but it was perfect.

    Thanks again.

    Kind regards,


    1. Keryn,
      So glad that you gave it a try and that it worked for you! It's such an easy and versatile app. What was your student to iPad ratio?