Monday, January 12, 2015

Making Math Cheesy!

Making Math Cheesy

Today in Third Grade, we got “cheesy” in math!!  With Cheez It crackers, of course!!! 
     Today’s math concept was area.  Before we began, children shared their ideas of what they thought area was with their partners.  After sharing their ideas, one child said that area is “a place or location in a classroom.”  Another child said that area is “how large a place can be in a building.”  After our discussion, children were introduced to our new concept by our friends from Brain Pop, Annie and Moby.  They are so funny and knowledgeable!

     We learned that area is the measurement of a space inside a shape.  As a class, we discussed how area is an important way to find out how large a room is for carpet or for paint on a wall.  We learned that square units are created when you take a shape and divide it up into equal squares.  When you count the square units, you discover the total area.  You can also determine the area by multiplying the length and width of a shape.  For example, 5ft long x 3 ft wide = 15 square feet.

     As the hands-on lesson started, my students were provided with a piece of grid paper and Cheez It crackers.  I modeled problems on the SMART Board for the children to practice alongside my guidance.  We demonstrated our awareness of area with the crackers as manipulatives to create our various shapes and count our square units.

     Children then used Rally Coach to assist their shoulder partner in practicing area on their grids.  One child would act as a coach and encourage their partner to calculate the area of the shape they have provided.  Children work cooperatively to strengthen their learning and deepen their understanding of the task at hand.

     As I reflect on my lesson, it brought me joy to see how the children happily engaged in the activity with their shoulder partners.  Everyone worked hard to be a great coach for their partner and help them master the concept of area. But of course, everyone agreed that the best part was eating the crackers!   

Kristy Litwiller

3rd Grade Teacher

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