Pop-up Polyhedrons with Quiver Lesson

Students love to interact with their learning environment and getting them to use the Quiver iOS app with some polyhedron pages is just the thing to get them excited about Math solids.



Quiver iOS app installed on iPads/iPods for student use

Print off one copy of the Platonic Solids Starter and color the solids. Print off several copies of each of the polyhedrons (enough for your class with extras) from Quivervision Platonic Solids.

Crayons and/or markers.

Ability to video students.



Alberta Curriculum – Mathematics grades 3-6

Describe the characteristics of 3D objects and 2D shapes and analyze the relationships, position and motion of these objects and shapes.


U.S. Common Core Math Standards

Geometry – grades 3-6


Guiding Questions

  • What do I want my students to learn?
  • What can my students currently understand and do?
  • What do I want my students to understand and be able to do, based on the Big Ideas and specific outcomes/standards?


Big Ideas between Shapes and Objects

  • 3-D objects and 2-D shapes can be analyzed according to their attributes.
  • 3-D objects and 2-D shapes with similar attributes can be grouped together into classes of shapes.
  • 3-D objects can be analyzed, grouped and defined based on the number and shape of faces and the number of edges and vertices.
  • There are relationships between the number and shape of the faces of a 3-D object, and the number of its edges and vertices.
  • By thinking about the particular attributes of a class of 2-D shapes and the relationships between those attributes, students begin to generalize about shapes, assign shapes to particular classes and construct definitions of classes of shapes.
  • There are mathematical conventions that govern how 2-D shapes are classified and named. One important attribute by which 2-D shapes are classified is the number of sides.
  • Congruency and symmetry are geometric properties. These properties can be used to determine what makes some shapes alike and different.


Achievement Indicators

The following indicators may be used to determine whether or not students have met this outcome. Can students:

  • identify the faces, edges and vertices of polyhedrons?
  • identify the shape of the faces of a polyhedron?
  • determine the number of faces, edges and vertices of a polyhedron?
  • color a skeleton of a polyhedron, and use the Quiver iOS app to describe how the skeleton relates to the polyhedron?
  • sort the Quivervision Platonic Solids according to the number of faces, edges or vertices?
  • classify the Quivervision Platonic Solids according to the number of sides?


Time: 90 minutes or 2 lessons of 45 minutes each.


Assessing Prior Knowledge and Skills

  • Teacher colors the Platonics Solids Starter sheet ahead of time and uses the Quiver iOS app to augment the solids on the sheet to show students. (5 mins.)
  • Have students write or discuss orally what is different about each polyhedron prior to coloring and augmenting them. (15 mins.)


Instructional Strategy – Time to Play!

  • Have enough sheets printed off so that students can choose at least one polyhedron to color of their choice.
  • If possible, have students move together into groups of three, each with a different polyhedron.
  • In their small group, each student can read aloud about their polyhedron which is printed on their sheet. (15 mins.)
  • Coloring of the actual polyhedron begins! (15-25 mins.)
  • Ideally at least one iPad/iPod with the Quiver iOS app installed should be available for each small group to use to augment their colored polyhedron and make it come to life. (5 mins.)



Using another device, video the student speaking about their polyhedron and using the Quiver app to make it 3D. (25 mins.) Post to the student’s eportfolio, GDrive, or blog.

  • Ask the student to show you an example of a face on their polyhedron.
  • Ask the student to show you an example of a vertex on their polyhedron.
  • Ask the student to show you an example of an edge on their polyhedron.
  • Prompt the student to describe the shape of a face on their polyhedron.
  • Prompt the student to count the number of vertices on their polyhedron.
  • Prompt the student to count the number of edges on their polyhedron.
  • Choose two polyhedrons (one from a classmate) and ask the student to tell you something the same and something different about the shape of some of the faces of the polyhedrons.
  • Choose two objects and ask the student to tell you something the same and something different about the number of vertices or edges of the polyhedrons.


Key Vocabulary

3-D objects

2-D shapes











By sight (not for spelling)








Have students research their polyhedron even further. Where is it found in nature? What is its significance? Some great sites to use: WolframAlpha, Instagrok, Math is Fun, Mathigon


Bring out the BeeBot!

Photo Credit: Kathy Cassidy Flickr via Compfight cc

Twelve years ago in a land far, far away, a group…..created a plastic bumblebee and gave it a battery-operated motor and wheels. They made it to be programmable and handed it over to early years students.


Since then the BeeBot, BlueBot, mats, and accessories have been steadily entering into early years and even middle years classrooms. Both teachers and students excited about working with a simple programmable robot that effectively teaches spatial awareness, critical thinking, sequencing, estimation, and problem-solving. With up to 40 commands for one continuous movement, BeeBot offers many learning opportunities. Command sequences can start out easy and then move towards more creative and complex ones. The tiny robot (13cm x 10cm) moves in 15 cm steps and 90º turns.


BeeBot can be used in a variety of subject and grade levels, check out some of the examples below:


Language Arts

  • Create visuals, write a story and have BeeBot act it out.
  • Use letter cards under a clear mat and have students program BeeBot to spell out specific sight words.
  • Create vowel mats.


Social Studies

  • Lay down a map of a country, region or world and give BeeBot commands as to where it should visit.
  • Place timeline cards on a specific historical event mismatched on a grid under a clear mat. Have students give BeeBot the commands to allow it to travel in chronological order of the events.



  • Use digit/number cards under a clear mat and have students count by 2s, 5s, 10s or in another specific pattern.
  • Create a maze on the floor or a table and program BeeBot to run through it.
  • Create a 2D shape and/or 3D object mat.
  • Tape a number line on the floor/table and have BeeBot programmed one and two more and less than a number.



  • Draw out a lifecycle of an animal on a poster and program BeeBot to follow the lifecycle.
  • Create a color mat with either color squares or colored objects and program BeeBot to go to certain colors.

For teachers in our school division, we have a Mobile Learning Initiative where teachers can meet together, share their tinkering, engineering, and making. I have created a page dedicated to the BeeBot found at There is also a loaner library for them.


PeriscopePD: Chrome Apps for Middle Years Students

Below is the list of Chrome Apps that I recommend for grades 5-9 in the classroom. As with anything, please review each Chrome App to see if it fits with the work you are doing in the classroom before you share it with students. The five “bolded” Chrome Apps are shown via the 15 minute PeriscopePD video above.

BrainPOP – movies, info

Canva – posters, flyers, brochures

Coding with Chrome – beginner and advanced

Coggle – collaborative mind maps

Daum Equation Editor – create + save math expressions

Discovery Education – requires a subscription

DOGOnews – 3500+ ELA, Science, Social Studies articles

Duolingo – learn a language

EDpuzzle – insert videos with questions, etc.

Fluency Tutor for Google – students record themselves reading, requires subscription to use analytical tools

Geoboard – perimeter, area, angles

Geogebra Math Apps- interactive geometry

Google Classroom

Google Cultural Institute – artworks, museums, world events

Google Docs

Google Drive

Google Earth

Google Forms

Google Maps

Haiku Deck – presentations

InstaGrok – research search engine w/facts, websites, videos, images, pins, quizzes

Itch – Scratch Teacher Dashboard

IXL – adaptive K-12 Math, LA, Science, SSt practice, requires subscription

LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0

Newsela – current events articles at different levels

Pixlr Editor – photo editing

PowToon Presentations Edu – create presentations + animated videos, require a subscription

Sphero Blockly – visual code editor for the Sphero (for Chrome OS 48+, Mac OS X 10.11+, WIndows 10+)


Type Fu

Useful Periodic Table (lite)

VoiceNote II – Speech to Text

WeVideo – Video Editor and Maker – video editing

World Data Atlas


Sir Ken: A New Model for Education

Sir Ken was pushed into the global educational spotlight over a decade ago with his sharing via a TED talk regarding schools killing creativity and follow up talks such as Changing education paradigms, and Bring on the learning revolution. He’s also traveled the world even visiting Alberta a number of times to heighten our awareness that the traditional way of teaching and learning must change.

The video below is part of an introduction to the work Sir Ken is participating in with the Atlantic Rim Collaboratory (ARC). This is a global group of educational systems that want to advance values such as equity, excellence, wellbeing, inclusion, democracy and human rights for all students within high-quality professionally-run systems. What rings true for me is that the educational community cannot rest at ease in the work to move the learning and teaching processes forward. No longer should it be acceptable for systems to just look at OUTPUT but look towards SUSTAINABILITY while equipping teachers and students to handle the current and future global challenges and changes. It is also important to note that Sir Ken says it takes more than just one group to make this move, it takes many.



PeriscopePD: Chrome Apps for Early Years Students

Here is the list below of the Chrome apps that you see in the video. Bolded apps are showcased in the 15 minute PD session.

Ad-Block Plus – get rid of those pesky advertisements

Announcify – paragraph reader

Awesome Screenshot – screenshot, add annotations, blur, copy/paste, save

Calculator (Pop Up)

Google Dictionary (by Google)

Extensity – en/disable extensions and click on apps URL shortener – shorten all those long links

Google Keep – save notes, links, text, images, make checklists

National Geographic –  Photo of the Day

Print or PDF with CleanPrint – use only the text you want and eliminate the rest

Readability – declutter web articles, sign up to save

Read&Write for Google – reading, writing, research (requires a subscription for student use, free for teachers)

Save to Google Drive – quickly save anything to your GDrive

Scan QR

Screen Capture – screenshots

Send from Gmail

Speak It! – text to speech

VoiceNote II – speech to text

YoWindow Free Weather – weather stations with living landscapes which reflect the weather and time


What other Chrome Apps do you use and/or recommend for K-4 students?


Give Every Child a Voice

This is such a powerful and emotion story! Grab some tissues, sit down for 17 minutes and take time to watch this video. As you do so, think about:

  • How can we design learning opportunities for students to experience a variety of different technologies so that they can communicate, create, and connect?
  • What does independence mean to you?
  • What is your definition of an Inclusive Classroom? How can you create one? Who can support you along this journey?

Make Yourself Open to Opportunity

Kare Anderson is a super story teller and brings us into her world where everyone can make a difference. Not only are we all “smart” at something, we also can connect with each other and also connect others so they can network and learn. If our stories, our ideas and/or our products/services are presented by people who are startling (grab your emotion), compelling (show you there is a way) and credible (some experience), then change can and will happen.

It’s a great video to watch yourself, but even a better one to watch as a group!

Ask yourself/group – How are we using our collective talents to create a better society? Are there others (outside organizations/people) that we should tap into to help with our cause(s)?