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Monday, May 5, 2014

Area and Perimeter Fun!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! 

Okay - before I get into writing about the awesome, fantastic, superb, amazing lessons that I did on Area and Perimeter, I want to remind everyone that TpT is having a SALE. I am LOADING up my shopping cart. Seriously. 5 items in there already - and I'm counting down til tomorrow! I am participating in the sale, and my ENTIRE store will be 20% off! 

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If you're like me, Area and Perimeter just doesn't EVER seem to sink in with your kiddos  (I teach 3rd graders). Sure, they understand the unit while you are teaching it, and a week or two later. By the time you are doing end of year review, every year they start to mix them up again! Since we missed SO many school days because of snow, and state testing starts THIS WEEK, there isn't as much time for forgetfulness this year. It's also VERY frustrating to hear the 4th and 5th grade teachers talk about how they don't remember things I KNOW I've taught them! This year would be different......

After putting together some definitions of Area and Perimeter based on our background knowledge of area models of multiplication, we showcased the area and perimeter of our desks with sticky notes. You may remember reading it on a 5 for Friday post (Just click the picture if you want to read about it!) 

Then, I had my students create Area Robots. In 3rd grade, Virginia says we must find the area of "a shaded region". Basically, they give our kids this funky shape that has been colored in on graph paper and ask them to determine the area. What better way to practice that, than to DO that! SO....here's my "Anchor Chart" we made to go along with the activity: 


Here are my students' robots! The boys LOVED creating Mine Craft Creepers! 

Students drew robots on graph paper, and calculated the area of the head, body, arms and legs. Then, students found the total area of their robots and compared to a partner. 

The next day, we did a lesson practicing area and perimeter using Educreations on the iPad. This app lets students complete problems on multiple types of paper, and record their voice explaining their work. As you can tell by some of the faces, the word problems were TOUGH. They had to work with a partner to explain their thinking. Check out some of these faces! The best thing about Educreations, is that your students can save their work to your account with just a code.






 After we finished our problems, we watched groups explanation of problems. There were some "Ah-ha" moments -- you know, the teacher has said this 1,000,000 times and I don't get it, but my friend says it one time the exact same way, and I get it "ah-ha" moments! My favorite thing about Educreations is that students could change their plain paper to lined or graph paper. They could also insert photos from the camera roll, or take a photo. I had students take a photo of an area model for one problem, and record their voice and writing on top. This app is AWESOME for science vocabulary books, social studies reports on famous people, the list is endless!


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