I wanted the kids to have geoboards, but the plastic ones sort of seemed cheap. I remembered that the first time I saw a geoboard was my first year teaching in the Quaker school where I worked for many years. The math teacher had the kids make them with wood and nails. I asked the kids’ most handy grandfather (he built their entire screen porch himself!) if he would make them with the kids.
Here he is with some amazing machine that drilled a bajillion holes in a matter of minutes.
Here are the kids hammering the nails.
At first, I was worried they would give up on the hammering after doing a row or two.
Boy, was I wrong. When they finished, BalletBoy told me sadly that he wanted more things to hammer.
Here’s the finished product. They immediately went to put rubber bands on them and make shapes. Also, a rubber band based picture of Appa from Avatar: the Last Airbender. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of that.
In case you aren’t familiar with geoboards, they’re useful for geometric concepts like area and perimeter as well as basic shape creation. They also can be used for a tactile way to explore bar graphs, multiplication and a number of other concepts in math.