Learning About Perimeter

To help students tune into measurement, Ms. Engstrom and I challenged the kids in math class to do this:

Find an object in the classroom and figure out the distance around the outside of it.
Document the strategies you used.
That’s it. Here’s what happened:
students chose how to organize their information
accurate use of measurement tools
noticing how understanding fractions on a number line helps when measuring (!!!)
using prior knowledge
attending to precision
interest piqued!
misconceptions uncovered
From here, we did a bunch of talking and sharing. Next, we’ll be able to define perimeter, model and teach formulaic equations, and practice precise measurement techniques. It was a great way to get the kids focused on math in a hands-on way and engaging in math conversations with little intervention. For us as teachers, it was a great little check-in to see what the kids know and how much, and where we’ll need to step in to improve conceptual understanding.

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