This week, my students and I are exploring area in our whole group math instruction!
Area is a ton of fun to teach!
This year, I tried something new! I introduced the basics of area and perimeter at the same time.
Now, in previous years, I have not taught these two skills together. Mostly because I didn’t want them to be confused. This year, I am teaching them together. They are so well correllated!
Preview the learning with related reading
We started off by reading parts of the book Perimeter, Area and Volume by David Adler. I focused the children on the parts related to height, length, and depth. Then, we went into area and perimeter.
Allow students to take notes while reading
As I read, I stopped to doodle notes in my math journal book. It’s important to stop and hot while you read. This models for students even in the math block that thinking and note taking is not just for reading. Whenever I test or quiz, I allow the students to use the journal book if it supports their thinking, so this is an important piece of my instruction.
Engage in practice on what you have modeled.
After we did our notes, I created some rectilinear shapes for the students to copy right in their journals. We discussed how to find both area and perimeter. I taught them the formulas so that they would be familiar with them going forward. After the practice we created together, I had the students complete a quick worksheet that had rectangles. There were three that offered the students square units inside and the final one didn’t have any square units. I wanted the students to have a stretch problem.
Remedate or enrich as needed
With students who are struggling, I like to take out one inch tiles and model my thinking with those in small groups. I have some area center cards that I use for this purpose.
I have a mat that I made that the students can use to create their area models on. I just slip the page into a page protector and have the students use that to demonstrate their thinking.
For enrichment, I combine both area and perimeter. Early on, solving for both area and perimeter of a shape could be challenging enough for most students. Later on, asking students to create two different shapes with the same area or perimeter can offer a different type of challenge.
Utilize a spiral review
In my classroom, after a few days of instruction, I introduce morning work that includes solving problems for area. Spiral review in the morning has been one of the best ways to refresh old skills and to give specific practice on new ones.
I hope you’ll try out an idea or two from this post!