So it's time to be teaching area and perimeter, and even though it SEEMS like such a simple concept, students struggle with it every single year. They start the process of learning these concepts in third grade where they build arrays and count squares to find both the perimeter and area, but every year they come in familiar with the terms but needing lots and lots of support. I've learned a ... Read the Post
Area and Perimeter: Getting Students Talking about Math
Research shows that students learn best when they are collaborating and talking about math. My 25+ years in the classroom tells me that this is, indeed, true--but I'll go a step farther and make the claim that math discourse can raise the level of engagement, motivation, and excitement as well. I thought I'd share some details about some recent area and perimeter work in my classroom to see if I ... Read the Post
Perimeter and Area: Constructivist Learning
Some of my favorite math units/topics are those where I feel I have a handle on how to really get my students to construct their own understanding. This is NOT the way most textbooks operate! Most textbooks have you set a clear learning target: I can find the perimeter of a rectangle by using the perimeter formula. Then, the teacher models how to do the problems...talks through ... Read the Post
Area and Perimeter Studies: Deep Thinking
One of my favorite "mini units" to teach is area and perimeter...I just love how well it ties to everything we've done...it ties to measurement. It relates to multiplication. Most importantly, it's a "real world" skill that helps us as teachers to help our students recognize that math IS important! When I teach area and perimeter, my goal is to get my students to think flexibly ... Read the Post
Hands on Perimeter and Area Studies!
One thing I know for sure is that students often need to see/"do" math in ways that aren't presented in a traditional text book. Students also don't always learn math in a nice neat sequence--or in one or two lessons as allocated by a yearly plan or scope and sequence. When we try to fit our students learning into OUR convenience, we start to run into trouble--with deep understanding, ... Read the Post
Perimeter and Area Problems–Cooperation Time!
Today I wanted to see how well my students were internalizing our perimeter and area explorations, so I gave them a cooperative task to complete. The timing was perfect as I was missing 5 students for early spring break starters--so it seemed like a great plan for a Friday before break! Area and Perimeter Problem Solving Here's the task...students were in teams of 5 or 6 and had to use the ... Read the Post
Perimeter and Area Investigations
So to kick off our investigations surrounding perimeter and area, we had a great discussion on how to measure "shapes". After a while, we came to the conclusion that there are lots of "dimensions" to measure. We talked about words like "length" and "width" and "height" (and even talked about spelling those words...and how "long" relates to "length" and "wide" to "width" and "high" to ... Read the Post