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Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Measurement - Area and Perimeter

We've been doing a lot of extra measuring and figuring in math over the past couple weeks. The students are really getting secure in knowing the difference between area and perimeter, are getting better at articulating what the terms mean, and can pretty easily find both when given rectangles.

As usual, I try to make it as hands-on and visual as I can. Here is an example of a recent exploration in math which demonstrates how different skill levels and types of learners can succeed.

We started at circle time - well, actually, rectangle time. The students sat at the perimeter of the green rug. I then showed them a math book and a centimeter cube, asking how we could figure out the area using the cubes. Many answers were given, including - "just use a ruler - it needs to be a STANDARD unit of measurement", and "line up the cubes on both sides and multiply". Using both ideas, we measured and multiplied and figured out the area.

Then it was time to see if all students could figure this out, using a smaller surface to measure. Each child got a playing card and a handful of centimeter cubes.

Some children lined up 9 cubes on the length, 6 cubes on the width. Some knew their nines tables and could then figure out immediately that the area would be 54.

Others painstakingly filled the card with cubes and counted them up. Of course, it took 54 cubes exactly to do so!

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