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tweettut 03-12-2008 08:41 AM

Teaching area
I am a student teacher working in a 5th grade classroom. I have to teach the students how to find the area of triangles, squares, rectangles, and parallelograms. I need some ideas for hands on activities I can use. Please help!!!!

jeanmarie 03-12-2008 05:00 PM

Area activity
I have them begin with tracing various shapes on cm graph paper and then count and number the squares contained within the drawing. When I am sure they understand what we mean by area, rather than perimeter, then we can explore how formulas are used to save us time. I have also had students draw a shape, and then use a ruler to draw a cm grid over the top and then count the squares. When we count the squares, we number them and record it right inside that square. We have to put smaller pieces together as best we can to make complete squares. They really do get pretty good at it. When they have had to count all of the cm squares in a fairly large square or rectangle, using the formula becomes a helpful and time-saving tool. I also have them create triangles by cutting rectangles and squares in half so they see how the area of a triangle is half of its rectangle. I think my students who truly understand that area is the number of little squares retain it better. I have seen them divide a shape into 1 cm squares and then count them if they couldn't figure the area of some strange polygon by using a formula. They get it almost perfectly although it takes a lot longer and they have to use a ruler to draw straight lines. I've used geoboards, but it's hard to keep track of all of the squares contained within the shape without writing on them so I prefer graph paper. Hope this helps.

TEACHERLVNV 03-13-2008 03:52 AM

great idea
I like your lesson but may I suggest having the students in groups and using the grids on transparency film (for each group) as an overlay?

Jump4Joy 03-15-2008 10:49 AM

Also fun for surface area
Our math coach did a great lesson with my 5th graders on surface area. They already understood area and perimeter, so this was the last big lesson. She brought in about 10 big boxes, sealed and labeled. One was labeled, "Wii" another "PS3" another "APPLE Laptop" etc. and these got their attention fast!! Then, she said they had to find the surface areas for each box that their group received because it needed to be wrapped and mailed. The kids loved it. I think the realia and the use of popular kids games attracted them more than anything. They made a chart of all the boxes and their surface areas.
It's really important to give them hands-on applications so that the formulas begin to make more sense and they are more user-friendly.

scotiateacher 03-17-2008 06:18 AM

Area and Perimeter
I have students design a pen for my chocolate lab Kiwi. They use centimeter paper to design a run using 48 meters of fencing. Below their design they calculate area and perimeter and explain design.

neiks 03-01-2009 12:58 AM

i was online looking for lesson plans on area as well. i'm also a student teacher seeking help with lessons for irregular shapes and shaded regions. i feel your pain.

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