Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Finding Area in Fun Ways

We are flying through the year and the class is doing an amazing job.  Room 18 has been trying new ideas from a variety of educational resources. Maybe some of you use Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, TpT, etc., regardless, the resources are are out there.  World wide teacher collaboration rocks! There are so many teachers offering great lessons.

I got this cool idea from Pinterest. Hats off to the creator of this math strategy! We tried it out and the kids were asking to play again.

  • A game for 2-3 players
  • Each player chooses a color pencil, crayon, or marker they will use
  • Players take turns rolling the dice, using the numbers that they rolled to draw the perimeter of a rectangle/square and writing the area in the middle of the shape
  • Game ends when players run out of room to draw
  • Winner is the player who has used the largest area/most squares
In addition to this idea, we have been using math grids for other reasons as well.  I'll call out a number and the students have to find the area, as many ways as possible, while using different shapes.  For example, if I call for the number 24, then the students cover the area of 24 in as many different ways as they can.  Color coding helps a lot to show differentiation.

Here is another idea I have used in my classroom.  You can ask students to make a complex figure and total the area of the figure.  Check out this great blog post here.

This week we changed up the dice game.  I had students play an area game with a deck of cards
  • Students will need a deck of cards and graph paper
  • Students draw two random cards from the deck
  • The first card may represent the length and the second card can represent the width or vice-versa  
  • Students will need to use different colors if playing against an opponent
  • Explain the formula- (area = l x w ) or review strategies that you have taught for finding area
  • Students graph the area of the cards drawn  
  • If students draw a 9 and 4, then the student would color or outline 36 square units 
  • Students can complete this activity alone or in partners
  • Students might want to be clever and strategically place their square units
  • Winner is the player who has used the largest area/most squares

We played this game in my class and here is what our learning looked like!

What creative ideas do you have for teaching area?


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