Sunday, April 15, 2012

Perspective - {3D Shapes Lab}

We all need a little perspective from time to time... And I personally LOVE teaching this lesson to my 6th/7th graders during this time because it gives me a chance to teach them beyond the classroom and give them a little "life" perspective too. I teach this lesson when we cover the intro to three-dimensional shapes (prisms, pyramids, cones, cylinders and spheres) in conjunction with the lesson on drawing them (along with top, side and front views).

  •  45 - 60 minutes
  • Perspectives Math Lab booklet 
  • Snap Cubes

After you've taught the lesson introducing the different solids and you've shown your students how to use isometric dot paper, this is a great lesson for them to "put it into practice" and my students really enjoyed themselves!

Have your students get into groups and pass out the "Perspectives" Math Lab. Hand students 20 or so snap cubes to use to help them visualize their creations. Students will be putting "front", "side", and "top" views together to create a solid and then draw it using isometric dot paper. This can be hard for students in the beginning, so I usually walk through the first one as a class, so they can see how we can put it together and get a different viewpoint using idometric dot paper. The math lab also goes in reverse by having students take a solid and drawing the top, front and side views.

Happy drawing and constructing!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Around and Around Again {Math Lab}

This year I've also been teaching high school geometry along with 6th grade science. I love geometry because it's so tangible and fun for the kids to do activities with. This year, I did a math lab combining circumference and area. The cool thing about this lab is that students bring their own cylindrical object from home, and they end up memorizing important formulas :)

  • One cylindrical object brought from home from each student (also have extras in case students forget - although it works well giving a homework grade for them bringing in their object)
  • "Around and Around Again" Math Lab printout - available for $1 HERE 
  • Ruler
Time Period:  1 class period (30 - 45 mins)
Have students take their cylindrical objects and their rulers and get into groups of two or three. Students will use their ruler to measuren the top of objects in either cm. or in.  to find the diameter. Instruct them to fill in their chart and find the area and circumference of each object. Vary pi by using 3.14, 22/7 and leaving their answer in terms of pi.

This is a great lesson to reinforce circumference and area for students before they enter pre-algebra. Students also have a lot of fun finding different objects that have the same circumference and area for their circle bases. This also makes a great lead into volume and surface area of cylinders.

Have fun!