Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Area as an Architect (Stations Day 4 & Discussion) - Section 2: Review the Stations


As seen in the discussion guide page (insert), one of the questions for the student groups is, "About how many orphans do you think could live in this orphanage?  Explain your reasoning."

The students did something very interesting that I should have, but did not anticipate.


I thought that they would figure out the area of the two dormitories and any other living quarters and use that information to determine the number of children to make their estimate of how many orphans could reside in the orphanage on the given floor plan.  Given that we did an activity the day prior to this in which they used division other strategies to determine how many beds could fit in the dormitories, I thought there would be a lot of transfer.  There wasn't any!

The students added up the area of all the rooms, which we had calculated together as a class.  Then they used the total area for the orphanage, in square meters, and equated it to the number of orphans that could live there.  They were getting numbers in the thousands even though the dormitories themselves were only perhaps 20% of the total area of the orphanage.  It was very informative to observe them.  After I saw 4 groups all going down this path, I called them back to the whole group and we explored this idea further.  I don't have meter sticks, so I used yard sticks and reminded them of the relationship between feet and meters.  I also used a 12 inch ruler to make 1 ft2 spots and we had an interesting discussion about whether or not that was enough space.  I have rewritten the activity to pre-teach in preparation of this clearly developmental understand, so that it can be addressed at the outset and used to guide the conversations. 

  Interesting Misconception
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Interesting Misconception
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Area as an Architect (Stations Day 4 & Discussion)

Unit 14: Area and Perimeter
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: SWBAT calculate the area of the 3 floor plans they created and debate the merits of different room locations, sizes, and relative sizes.

Big Idea: Math Matters! Students can use their understanding of area to have a meaningful debate about a building plan.

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