1-3rd graders enjoy puzzling with SOMA.
March 30, 2007
This was the day that I received an E-mail from Thomas,
a 1st - 3rd grade teacher in North Carolina (USA).
I receive on the average, one E-mail each month, from SOMA
players. So what was special about this mail.?
Well, For many years I have been facinated by the
educational properties of the SOMA puzzle. I'm a teacher myself you know.
However, with this mail Tom had enclosed foto's. Pictures that
so intensely told the story. SOMA is fun.
SOMA is FUN
It makes you proud
So: let's read the mail then.
Subject: Soma page is a big hit in our 1st - 3rd grade
classroom in North Carolina.
I just wanted you to know how much my 1^st , 2^nd and 3^rd graders
enjoy building the figures on your page. I am just about to download
the figure and notation for figure 56. I have found a special grid
paper that makes 3-D drawing easy and many of them will then draw the
figure that they have build. Your page is a wonderful stimulation of
their spatial intelligence.
Thank you very much for your efforts.
Sometimes you need to think
Tom and his class use a special graphical paper that makes it very easy
to draw 3-D views of the Soma cube figures that the children build.
Tom also wrote:
My parents bought me a plastic Soma cube in the 60's. It didn't
use the notation we have today, but I find it very exciting to have
the children learn the notation and then build a figure from the notation.
I can almost feel parts of their brain lighting up that don't usually get
much use during the rest of the school day.
Actually Tom have a career similar to mine. Having been a software
developer for 20 years, he is now a teacher.
My personal opinion on this subject is that this combination is ideal,
because it presents the kids/pupils to a teacher with some real life
It may be a mess
But the solution is there
Finally Tom wrote:
I am hoping to give a presentation of the Soma cube at next year's regional
convention in South Carolina. If I can win some converts,
the Soma pages might start getting a lot more hits.
I wish you the best luck ever.
Look at these pictures and note how SOMA may be used as an inspiration,
and in the educational work of the classroom.
The training of the 3 dimensional skills are of unquestionable
value to all the kids.
A long range of international tests have shown, how some students find
the perception of 3D structures, and their relations to the spatial
geometry as it is teached at college, to be a very difficult task.
The kid's in "this" school have already gained insight in the intrinsic
features of 3 dimensions and projections. They will definately have a
huge advantage in about 8 years time, in college.
For one player
And for many
Thank you to Tom, and to the parents of this class, for their story
and the permission to tell it.
Submitted by Tom Keeler
(permission to use photos granted by H4 parents 2007-05-10)
Edited by Thorleif Bundgaard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BACK to news index