Building a Dog Kennel Days 4-6

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Students will be able to create the dimensions of appropriately sized kennels for different sizes and types of dogs, given the total area to be used.

Big Idea

Students will be able to use strategies to solve real-world problems involving area and perimeter.

Mini Lessons

10 minutes

Over the next few days, students are engaged in creating their own kennel layout. The teacher's role is to gather data by listening to and working with the students on their various designs.  This allows you to pull together groups, for targeted teaching. I found, with my class, that the most relevant mini lessons were as follows:

  1. Using total area needed for 10 kennels of each size dog in order to create a more organized plan. (Before tackling the kennels one-by-one, consider the total area needed for that group and lay that area out w/i your scheme.)
  2. Checking the area of each kennel configuration with multiplication. (Before drawing, check your calculations.)
  3. Using number sentences to represent the full kennel model. 

The following section shows the students working on each of these lessons.  I did not write a full plan for each lesson, as you will need to spend time where your students need.  This will guide you to what it might look like if you find yourself spending time as I did.  

Remember, the goal is to get the students to become efficient and confident in using perimeter and area to solve problems. Productive struggle is part of the process. If we provide students with a final product, we take away the opportunity for them to create it as their own. Be patient!

Active Engagement Video Segments

30 minutes

The following video shows a team of students working on explaining how they structure their space into organized kennel sizes.  You will notice that one of the students still needs work in naming arrays, while another team member understands it enough to begin manipulating space and working with various area equations.


This segment is an example of students using algorithms to express the total area taken by each kennel type. Notice the use of a given form, created to help them organize their thinking (rather than me - the teacher - organizing their thinking). Students are also given support in organizing their thinking for presentation.


This video will take about two minutes to watch, but you will be able to see how I guide students through a "comfortable struggle" and push them to go the next step.

Wrap Up and Share

15 minutes

To wrap up the work on this project, I assign the students an open ended journal activity.  They are to write the sentence, "Draw a 15 x 22 rectangle and find the area."

You will see that my students took different approaches, in the two work examples included, to solving this.  I can see great growth in understanding and application from a week ago, where we began!

The video shows my student using several strategies in order to find the total area.  He is decomposing into easy numbers; dividing whole lengths into smaller, equal lengths; combining to make 100 in order to use mental math; and recording thinking.