Friday, March 27, 2015

finding out and sorting out: perimeter

Day Two
After our hands-on intro to perimeter learning, the kids had a chance to do some authentic measuring of perimeter using their own creations.

Our Unit Work right now is focusing on energy sources, so the grade three classes are creating energy efficient houses. The kids shared some of the ways they found the perimeter of their homes, which are traditional squares and rectangles: 
"Measure one side and double it. Or you could multiply it by two. Then do the same thing for the other side and add them together." 
"Add all the sides together."
"If it's a square you just multiply the first side you measured by four."
Super engaged.

Day Three
Today I told them that Mr. Phillips and I want to get a puppy for Mara (no we don't) and we have to fence in a play area for it in the backyard (we don't even have a backyard...). For the sake of creating a model, I said we had 24 cm of fence and had to use it all. They went ahead and all of them created a square or a rectangle:

So to challenge them and get them thinking outside the box (literally!) I told them that we have to leave room for the tree and the pool in the yard and drew a picture of the yard. So we actually didn't have enough space to make a large square or rectangle - they had to get creative! This was great and I love how each kid had a different way showing their understanding:

As an extra challenge, one group decided to try to use the pattern blocks to create an interesting but still more traditional space for the puppy to play.

With the right line of questioning these kids were totally successful!

The next day we launched into finding the area of the puppy's play space, which was a perfect connection and easier for the kids to conceptualize. They even came up with a strategy to accurately find the area of the irregular shapes they made by partitioning them and finding the area of each smaller space. Pretty great!

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