This week (and a little of last week) have been spent on Area, Perimeter and Volume.
The first lesson we did is based on a little story I wrote that involves two penguins. One penguin is making a nest for his wife. He has specific guidelines he must follow in order to make the perfect nest. He keeps messing up the specific guidelines so the story encourages the students to make the perfect nest. The kids loved the little story and they worked together with their shoulder partner to figure out the dimensions of the perfect nest.
After the story, students were given a set of "nest" task cards and graph paper. Students worked in pairs to figure out how to make each nest according to the specific areas and perimeters given. I love how they have to work backwards to figure out the sides of the nests.
This activity can be found in my TpT store and contains a powerpoint of the story and activity plus nest building task cards. Last year I did this same activity but instead of using graph paper we built nests out in the hall using the tiles. This year I was in a time crunch so we stayed in the room and completed multiple nests on graph paper. I really like the graph paper better because students got more work completed then out in the hall. Here is the activity if you would like to do this in your own classroom!
Next we did some problem solving with a Google Interactive activity I designed. This activity not only allowed students to practice their problem solving skills and find missing sides but also allowed them to use a digital ruler. I love how they love technology!
We then moved onto volume. I love to teach volume! I first make kids build rectangular prisms. They spend like 30 min making perfect beautiful rectangular prisms out of linking cubes. Then when they are done I say, how many cubes is that? They are stunned. You didn't tell me I had to count??? They very quickly start multiplying the length times width times the number of layers. They do this instinctively. I immediately tell them that they just discovered the formula for volume!
Afterwards I planned some Volume Stations were kids can practice different problem solving situations. One of the stations I designed is focusing on V=Bh formula. The students used QR codes to receive immediate feedback.
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This week we have enjoyed learning about shapes. In 5th grade we take all the information we have learned from our years in elementary and use that information to sort shapes in many ways according to their attributes.
We started out reviewing types of shapes, their names, their sides, their angles and how to draw them. We created a family tree according to their number of sides. This year we made a family tree using a Google Slide Show. This worked out so well! It is so easy to share and have kids create with you.
The next day we used ipads and an app called Geoboard. We created shapes on the geoboard and then used the annotation tool to label sides and angles. I love using this digital geoboard!
Next the students used a Google Slide Project I created that allowed them to digitally sort shapes. I absolutely love using this digital platform to reinforce topics. The kids love it too!
Finally we used my Shape Hierarchy Activity to formally practice using thinking maps and graphic organizers. This is completed like a gallery walk. Students have cootie catchers which contain poster specific questions. The questions are open ended, rigorous and relevant to the organizer on the poster. Four of the posters contain mistakes which allow students to analyze for errors. The students did very well with this activity!
Well, we are just truckin' along learning new topics! This weeks focus has been on writing simple equations using a variable or letter for the unknown quantity. In 5th grade we will only see a variable or letter in the solution part of the equation. To get started with this topic, we first talked about equation vocabulary. I don't like to teach "key words" but there are words that lend themselves more clearly to one operation. For example "sum" usually means to add. We journaled common words and phrases seen in word problems and discussed their meaning.
Next we used a book called "One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab" by April and Jeff Sayre. This is a very simple book in nature, but students can learn a more complex math operation using this simple book to guide the instruction. First I read the book and the students followed along using the guided instruction part. I read and we did the guided instruction together.
Afterwards the packet instructs students to come up with their own equations using the book as a reference. The students were given a number and they had to develop their own equation to represent that number. Students then came to the board to present their findings. We went over their equations and checked for accuracy. They did really well with this!
Finally I gave them a copy of equation dominos that are about the book we just read. They had to use the equations and solve them and match them up with the solution. When done, this created one long strip of dominoes.
This activity went really well and gave them a wonderful introduction to using variables or letters for the unknown. If you would like to do this in your own class HERE is the link to my TpT store!
The following day we did What's Inside? Mystery Beads! I have actually blogged about this activity before. You can check it out HERE! This year I went digital with my canisters. In previous years, I have used actual canisters and beads to have students solve equations to reveal what is inside the canister. Side note- Students today have no idea what a film canister is! This is the digital age and I had a full 7 minute conversation on the "old days" and taking film to get developed!
Lastly the students worked on a Google Slides Project all about writing equations. Google Projects are my newest favorite addition to class! I am loving these projects! I love them because they are engaged in their learning and it is rigorous problem solving! Not only with math but problem solving with technology too.
You can do these Google Projects in your own classroom by getting the link off my TpT store, HERE!