Saturday, March 5, 2016

Area Review (Parallelograms, Triangles, Trapezoids, and more!)

It has been all about finding areas recently in sixth grade math! The last week or two, we have been finding the area of parallelograms, triangles, trapezoids, and circles (with some perimeter and circumference thrown in there too!). For a while now, I have been trying to find a good way to review these concepts. This last week, I thought I would try an activity that worked pretty well last year with my sixth graders during our volume unit. This activity gets students up out of their seats, moving around the room, talking about math, and analyzing each others work!

I began by creating six different posters that each focused on a specific concept. I started pretty basic, with the area of a parallelogram. The other five focused on the area of a triangle, area of a trapezoid, area of a circle, circumference, and one challenge problem! Each student started by getting 6 different colored Post-it notes. On each of the posters, I put one of these different colored Post-its in the corner, so students knew which color to do their work on for that problem. After assigning them a  poster to start at (3-5 students per poster), they went around the room solving each problem on their Post-it notes. Here are a few shots of them in action!




Once students got to their starting point, I gave about two or three minutes for them to solve that problem on their Post-it note. After the time was up, I had them rotate to their next poster. I debated having them just go around at their own pace, but this system of sticking together with their group seemed to work out pretty well! I was impressed with the great math conversations going on as they worked! There was a lot of "but don't we need to double the radius" and "it's a triangle, so we have to divide by two!" Once they had all gotten to each station, I gave them a minute or two to go back to any problems that they had not had time to finish. Then, once we were all ready, the students went around an placed their work (which was on each Post-it note) on to the correct poster. Each poster looked something like this...


Then, here was my favorite part. I gave the students three minutes to walk around and look at the work of their classmates. To give them something specific to look for, I had them try to find at least one thing we did well as a class and at least one mistake they found. The students really enjoyed walking around and looking at their work and it was a great way to spark a discussion about the different area problems we had been learning about. Here are a few pictures of students as they were analyzing each others work!



I really enjoyed using this one as a review and I love how it could really be used with any concept! I'd love to hear any questions or similar activities that you have tried in your classrooms!