Geometry Routines for Elementary Students – This Year at TMCNYC

What we’re doing, in short.

We’re trying to develop an instructional routine that is custom-designed for exposing elementary-age kids to the ideas of geometry (especially angle measurement).

The goal of our group is to have something ready for testing and sharing at TMCNYC in August. Then, we’ll improve the routine further and have it ready to use in the coming school year.

(Register now to participate in August!)

The longer version.

Our group came together around a shared desire to help students better understand geometric ideas in the elementary grades, when geometry often is neglected by teachers. In addition, while we’ve had a lot of positive experiences surrounding instructional routines involving arithmetic, we’ve found that there are far fewer routines and resources for teaching geometry to younger children.

After sharing our favorite topics (and those whose teaching was most in need of improvement) we decided to give a special focus to angle measurement. As we prototype routines and develop materials to share in August, here are just some of the questions we’re asking ourselves:

  • for young students, what is an angle?
  • how do we help students understand that “size” doesn’t matter for angles?
  • how can students learn to use a protractor effectively?
  • can physical movement help students understand important angle concepts?

We’ll share much more at the conference in August, and hopefully have something we can share much more widely during the following school year.

Who we are!


Charlotte Sharpe (@getting_sharper) is an assistant professor of mathematics education at Syracuse University, where she works with pre-service and in-service elementary teachers to plan and enact discourse-focused math instructional routines into daily instruction. Charlotte used to teach high school math (including geometry) in Texas, and is still buzzing from a week working with 4th graders around angle measurement, construction, and classification at an urban school in Syracuse.




Tina Cardone (@crstn85) is currently writing high school geometry curriculum with Illustrative Mathematics. She spent over ten years as a high school teacher of courses from pre-algebra to AP calculus. She worked with diverse populations and specialized in classes for students with disabilities.





Deidra Baker (@dbmpmath , @dlfbaker) is currently teaching geometry, algebra, and practical math at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman, Iowa. This is her 25th year teaching in Iowa. She has also taught at Iowa City High School in Iowa City and was the high school math Teacher at Keota High School. She enjoys learning and working on extra projects. She has presented at a National Council of Teachers of English annual conference, as well as presenting at a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual meeting. She is the current Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics president.



Marta Kobiela is an assistant professor of mathematics education at McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she teaches mathematics teaching methods courses to elementary pre-service teachers. She has taught math in different contexts (both in and out of school) and is especially passionate about learning how to support geometric thinking and reasoning.


image5Lynn Selking (@LynnSelking) is a math consultant serving K-12 schools in southeast Iowa for Great Prairie Area Education Agency.  Lynn has previously taught secondary math in Missouri, Michigan and Iowa. She is a life-long learner and her passion is for every student to be able to meet his or her full potential in life.




Also featuring…

  • Jenna Laib (@jennalaib)
  • Max Ray-Riek (@maxrayriek)
  • Michael Pershan (@mpershan)
  • Scosha Merovitz

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