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Activity and strategy

Pattern Calendar with 3D Printed Shapes

Create 3D printed shapes for a pattern calendar for students who are blind or visually impaired.

This year I am working with a Kindergarten student who is totally blind. He is in the general education class as much as possible and learning along side his peers with accessible materials. His class uses The Math Learning Center curriculum which includes Number Corner. Within Number Corner activities, there is a monthly “pattern calendar” that gives students experience with patterns and concepts. November was a rather mind-blowing pattern involving plane shapes and 3D shapes. 

Using 3D printed shapes for the 2D images of 3D solids, we presented 2D plane shapes made with a PIAF machine along with 3D solids (the students learn academic language: a closed two-dimensional or flat figure is called a plane shape). Although the pattern was complicated, the daily hands-on during Number Corner activities really reinforced student’s understanding and labeling of 2D shapes and 3D solids! The print version of the pattern calendar included pictures of objects in various analogous shapes. We were able to review those with student such as comparing a can to a cylinder or a dollar bill to a rectangle.
Our county has a 3D printer through our Technology Resource Center. The small 3D solids were a very easily design project. In TinkerCad there are solids available as starting projects. It was simply a matter of resizing them (much like resizing a photo just add one more dimension).  You can download the files I created on Thingiverse.

3D Pattern Calendar

The days of the week in a binder with velcroed cards and object symbols.
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