More Learning About Perimeter

After our hands-on intro to perimeter learning, the kids had a chance to do some authentic measuring of perimeter using their own creations, their energy efficient home models.

They shared some of the ways they found the perimeter of their homes, which are traditional squares and rectangles:
“Measure one side and double it. Or you could multiply it by two. Then do the same thing for the other side and add them together.” 
“Add all the sides together.”
“If it’s a square you just multiply the first side you measured by four.”

Next task: Mr. Phillips and I want to get a puppy for Mara and we have to fence in a play area for it in the backyard. We have 24 units of fence (we agreed on using cm to create a scaled down model) and had to use it all.

They went ahead and all of them created a square or a rectangle:

So to challenge them and get them thinking outside the box (literally!), we told them that we have to leave room for the tree and the pool in the yard and drew a picture of the yard. So we actually didn’t have enough space to make a large square or rectangle – they had to get creative! This was great and each kid had a different way of showing their understanding:

As an extra challenge, one group decided to try to use the pattern blocks to create an interesting but still more traditional space for the puppy to play.

With the right line of questioning, success!
The next day we launched into finding the area of the puppy’s play space, which was a perfect connection and easier for the kids to conceptualize. They even came up with a strategy to accurately find the area of the irregular shapes they made by partitioning them and finding the area of each smaller space, then adding those together. Pretty great!

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