My kiddos really struggle with deciphering the difference between geometric terms. Last week we decided to work on surface area and volume. We ended up using my Surface Area and Volume Situations Cards.
For the most part, given the formula, the kiddos can do the calculations, but if they are given a word problem, it is usually hard for them to determine which measurement to use. My situation sort cards have 18 different situations that are real life and make students think about what is really going on in the scenario. I tried to make to wordings very similar…
“packing peanuts in a cardboard box” vs ” remodeling a bedroom using paint and new carpet” |
Deciding which situation is surface area and which is volume |
After the students were (mostly) successful with the scenarios — they weren’t sure what was meant by a spindle of CDs, or a ream of paper (yet were familiar with both once they saw the picture) — we started looking at the formulas.
Often times on standardized tests, the question gives the final answer and wants the student to work backwards to find an individual measurement… in order to do this, students must be comfortable manipulating data and understanding measurement. On each of the situation cards, the final answer is given. Students have to decide whether Surface area or volume is being calculated. The kiddos, surprisingly, really enjoyed the challenge of working backwards. They treated the problems like a puzzle. My resource kiddos usually complain about problems that involve a lot of steps so seeing them so engaged was really fun!
matching calculations of SA and Volume of rectangular prisms and cylinders |
I’m really excited how well the lesson went and how much the kiddos delved into the problems. I think next week, I’ll try another set of situation cards with them!
Want to check them out… here are the links!
Jessica
I love how you use very real situations for students to deal with. So often, they feel they’ll never use what we’re trying to teach them, and things like this will help them connect their learning to outside the classroom.
Jessica
The Learning Metamorphosis