Ms Dooley’s class have been exploring ways to make maths more active and hands-on without using their text books. The focus of these playful activities was area. The children had lots of fun and were engaged in a meaningful way. These activities also gave the children wonderful opportunities to develop mathematical language around area and engage in collaborative learning with their classmates.
The first introductory activity was estimating and measuring the area of our tables using non-standard units. The second introductory activity was a challenge in which we had to estimate and measure which has a bigger surface area – our hand-print or our footprint.
Activity 1: Domino Area Game
In pairs, the children used dominoes to draw various sized rectangles. The pupils selected a domino from the bag and the two numbers on the domino were the length and width of the rectangle they had to draw. They used whiteboard markers and a grid for this. At the end of the game the child with the biggest surface area was the winner.
Activity 2: 36 Square Challenge
For this activity the children used both a grid and whiteboard marker alongside cubes. The aim of this game was to use the grid or cubes (or both) to make as many different rectangles as possible with an area of 36 squares. The children then challenged their partners to make rectangles with different surface areas.
Activity 3: Capture the Island Map Activity
For this game the children were required to use coordinates to plot a rectangle on a map. The pupil with the greatest total surface area of islands at the end of the game was the winner.
Activity 4: Rectangle Investigation
The children estimated and measured the surface area of various rectangles to establish which rectangle covered the greatest surface area. They then used geoboards and rubber bands to recreate these rectangles, ensuring the dimensions were accurate.
Activity 5: Real World Area Problems
The pupils worked in pairs to read and discuss various real world word problems based on area. Before solving the word problem the children had to use their geoboards to represent the word problem using rubber bands.