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Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

10 Ways To Use a Geoboard

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Geoboard-Unifix Patterns
Students roll a die and make a pattern with that number using Unifix cubes onto the pegs of a Geoboard. These patterns can be written down on Geoboard Dot Paper and then another student can copy the same pattern.

Geoboard Sequences
For this activity, you will need to make up some cards in advance with part of a geometric design on them. These designs are then copied onto the Geoboard and then extended or finished by the student.

Any acceptable extension of the pattern is correct. Either of these choices is a fine way of extended the pattern.

Geoboard Numerals
For this one you will need to make Geoboard Numeral Cards by drawing numerals onto Geoboard Dot paper. Students then make numerals on their Geoboards, following the Geoboard Numeral Cards.

Geoboard Sorting Game
Ask you student to make a geometric shape, such as a triangle.  Have him draw it on Geoboard Dot paper. Can he think of another way of making that same shape? Have him make as many as he can and then sort the dot papers according to the type, size or orientation of the shapes. For example, if he made triangles, have him sort the dot papers so that all the small triangles are in one pile and all the large ones in another, or  have him sort them so that all the right triangles are in one pile and the other triangles in another. How many ways can he sort them?

Geoboard Paths
Put a cube on the bottom right-hand peg of the Geoboard and one at the top left-hand corner. The students trace a path from one cube to the other cube. Once they are satisfied with their paths, they can record them on Geoboard Dot paper. (Since my Geoboard has 6 pegs and the dot paper has 5 pegs, we decided not to use the outer pegs on the top and left-hand side and covered them with bands.) Other students can take one of the papers and copy the patterns.

Geoboard Arrows Game
For this game, you will need to make up a set of direction cards with arrows (see example in photos.) The students then find as many different ways as possible to follow one set of directions. Everyone who finds a different way can copy the pattern onto dot paper and pin the paper on a bulletin board or they can be made up into a book to record the different solutions.

Geoboard Squares
Students take turns making horizontal or vertical (no diagonal) line segments from one peg to another on the geoboard. A student who completes a square with no pegs in the middle, places his color Unifix cubes (or a couple of colors in our case because we don't have many of any one color any more) within the square to claim it.  Play continues until all the squares are claimed.
When all of the squares are claimed, the students remove their Unifix cubes, snap them together and compare. Variations are: 1) students can make their line segments on just from one peg to another, but any length and 2) use a more/less spinner or die to determine the winner. It is good to have games that more is not always better.

Number Concepts on the Geoboard
You will need to make up some squares of cardstock (or index cards) that fit between the pegs on your geoboard in advance. Your student then can explore a given quantity and find as many different arrangements. The only rule is that each square must be adjacent to another square (corners are fine.)

Geoboard Designs
The student makes a shape on the geoboard using one large band. At first students can cover the pegs inside the one shape with one color of Unifix cubes and the pegs on the outside with a second color Unifix cubes. They then take the Unifix cubes off and record each number and the total number of pegs on their paper.
 (Worksheet for this can be found here.)
After they have become more accomplished with counting, they can just count the pegs and record their numbers as addition problems of their own making.
Geoboard Peg Patterns
Students count the number of pegs along successive rows and diagonals and record the patterns.

Note: Geoboards are pretty easy to make yourself. You will need a board about 1 -1 1/2 inches thick and as large as you want your geoboard to be. Sand down all the edges. Paint your board any color you wish. A layer of Mod Podge protects it. Next make a grid on paper with your pegs about 1 inch apart. Tape this paper to your board and hammer in nails evenly at all the intersections. If the idea of spiky nails does not appeal to you, you can use push pins, although they can be a little tricky at times getting them into the wood.
We bought our geoboard at the Etsy shop, Craftmatter and we are so happy with it. It is handcrafted from birch with a finished oak trim and hand cut oak pegs, and finished with an all natural oil wax. I love the fact that the pegs are of a good size and have soft, blunted ends. It is very pleasing to use and to look at.


  1. All of these are such fabulous ideas! I've pinned this and can't wait to do some of them with R. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Very cool post!! I'm going to share it, I hope you don't mind.

    1. Of course I don't mind your sharing it. That is what it is there for...so people can use it! :) Thanks for your kind support.

  3. I love geoboards. Thanks for reminding me to get mine out again.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Phyllis. Now to find a geoboard!

  5. Awesome ideas....some I never thought of. Thanks!
    Marcia :)


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