# 3D before 2D ?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Nazard, Jan 27, 2011.

1. ### NazardNew commenter

I have heard a suggestion that FS/KS1 children should learn about 3D shapes before 2D shapes. Any ideas as to the logic behind this - seems counter-intuitive to me ?

2. ### NazardNew commenter

I have heard a suggestion that FS/KS1 children should learn about 3D shapes before 2D shapes. Any ideas as to the logic behind this - seems counter-intuitive to me ?

3. ### florapost

been a long time since i taught ks1 - but - well, 3-d shapes they see all around them - 2d shapes are an abstract mathematical concept that don't exist irl, so i can see some point to it - but i think it would make classifying and analysing shapes a b**ger

4. ### NazardNew commenter

I like the point about 3D shapes being all around us. I also like (but am not sure I agree with ) the suggestion that 2D shapes are abstract and don't exist in real life. Can the children say that the top of a table is a rectangle, as is the white board, as is the frame of the door? The end of a Toblerone packet is a triangle, etc?
I agree about classifying and analysing 3D shapes being tougher. It's also much more difficult to draw them (how do you draw a sphere?)!

5. ### weebecka

One of the biggest influences in this area is/was Montessori.
Students are encouraged to handle 3D shapes and real objects to experience the weight of relative numbers. The theory is that if students have multi-sensorial experiences their understanding will be deeper. There are now some fabulous vidoes of high quality Montessori teaching on youtube with explanations from experts.

6. ### NazardNew commenter

I am finding it difficult to picture this. Are there wooden/plastic/metal numbers which have the '2' being twice as heavy as the '1' ?

7. ### weebecka

The red rods is a good place to start.
down the right hand side of your screen you will see links to other related videos. In the background of this video you can see some of the materials students use.

8. ### DMNew commenter

Is becka being dense again Nazard?

9. ### NazardNew commenter

Cuisenaire? In which case I understand.
I am not interested in YouTube links. Would much prefer a discussion about maths teaching. I am trying my best here - please don't link to a video...

10. ### florapost

but the rectangle would be the top of the table with no depth at all - one atom of depth makes it a 3d cuboid- the end flap of a toblerone packet is really 3d
i don't know if it's easier or harder to accept 2d shapes at ks1 - and when i was there, we certainly looked at 2d first, but i can see the thinking behing the idea
would you have to draw the shapes, which is representing 3d shapes in 2d? could you just work with plastic shapes?
sorry - if i try to hit shift on this laptop, it tries to send my typing to the wlan printer

11. ### weebecka

Err.......? why not? are you having computer problems, will the vidoe not run? It's very short and quite low streaming and explains things far better than I could, giving you loads of extra information and links so you can follow your own preferences beyond that.
There are lot of good books on Montessori or you could visit a school as I did?

12. ### NazardNew commenter

1] I am afraid this is partly a case of "once bitten" ... I have followed so many YouTube links over the past couple of weeks that go to something rubbish and bizarre. I am not interested.
2] I am keen to have a thread that involves a bit of discussion about education. If I want to watch TV then I can go into my lounge and switch it on.

13. ### NazardNew commenter

Excellent point!
That must be weird!

14. ### florapost

i think 2 keys have fused - i can do caps by hitting Caps Lock and then switching it off again
i dare not mention it to mr post, who is laptop supremo here - i killed my previous one with a cup of coffee - and had to pay a fortune to have the info saved

15. ### anon261

Hi
I don't think that this is counter-intuitive at all. [IMO] Some of the first mathematical concepts come from baby toys - such as shape sorters. But they are all 3D. Everything around a child pre 5 is 3D - they haven't yet managed the skills to draw 2D shapes, and some aren't lucky enough to have books with shapes in - so I think that teaching 3D shapes would be perfectly legitimate.
(and off the record, I actually taught my son 3D shapes 1st instead of 2D shapes because of his shape sorter and we used to spend loads of time doing shape hunts and playing shape shopping etc. I found that it fit in really well)

16. ### weebecka

Lovely post - thanks so much. Especially liked this bit. And of course toddler jigsaws are very definitely 3D too as the bits (usually with knobs on) are prisms rather than 2D.

17. ### bolzanoweierstrass

While the shapes are prisms, the way to solve the jigsaw is to match the cross-section to the hole - so the problem exists in 2D. The shape sorter works in the same way ... unless you had, say, a triangular prism and a triangular pyramid that fitted the same hole. The names and classifications point to 2D as well.

18. ### anon261

I think it does exactly that. I think the entire educational system is written this way when, in fact, it doesn't work. Children need to be provided with the opportunity to learn and explore the basics in their own way during their early years, with the teacher there to guide them through the correct terminologies, then moving them on when they have fully grasped these ideas. This should be the way education works throught the entire compulsory education system - right up to 18years. There is far too much emphasis on planning and written schemes of work. You'd be surprised as to how much children can learn through basic exploration and being interested in their world. My son, 4, now knows how to add using counting on, he also knows HTU - and not because I've scheduled it all in, but because it was relevant at the time while he was exploring his world!

19. ### anon2799New commenter

The trouble is succesive governments have failed to recognise that children's learning is not heirarchical.
In answer to the op, in
our school we teach 2d and 3d from the start, with the correct vocabulary and terminology. It works for us.

20. ### NazardNew commenter

Thanks for all the comments - I can cope with the idea that pre-schoolers are much more likely to experience 3D shapes than 2D shapes, but once it comes to recognising properties of shapes then it seems to me that this is more difficult in 3D. If we want to talk about the shapes of faces, or symmetry then we are essentially dealing with 2D. Other properties are trickier in 3D too. Maybe, though, they don't meet those sort of properties until much older, so starting with 3D shapes in FS/KS1 is better.
I have just one other comment on the excellent posts-from-personal-experience in this thread. A number of them refer to the posters' children and the ways they make sense of the environment that their parents have created. Presumably, posters here on TES are either teachers or heavily involved in education.
Controversial question: maybe the written curriculum was created to support children whose parents don't have the skills or the finance to be able to support their own children in the same way?