Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Making Sense of Surface Area (day 1 of 2) - Section 1: Intro & Rationale


Sometimes I find that confusing terminology can get in the way of developing a conceptual understanding. In this lesson the term "side" was unclear. One student might think this means the two dimensional face of the object, while another student might be using it to refer to one of the dimensions of the two dimensional face. When we learned area of a two dimensional figure we referred to the length and width measurements as sides, but now some students are using the term to refer to the faces of the 3D object. This seems like a minor distinction to us, but to an ELL student it can really get in the way. It might be useful to clarify with the class what we mean when we use each term or decide what term we will use when we refer to certain aspects of the object. I found that using "face" and "edge" helped eliminate some confusion.

 I would not have become aware of this source of confusion had I not been listening really carefully as students explained their thinking and asked each other questions!

  Confusing terminology
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Confusing terminology
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Making Sense of Surface Area (day 1 of 2)

Unit 9: Exploring Surface Area
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: SWBAT understand and compute the surface area of a 3 dimensional object.

Big Idea: Surface area is a two dimensional measurement of a three dimensional object.

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2 teachers like this lesson
Math, surface area, Geometry, multiple methods, collaborative groups, manipulatives, visual representation
  54 minutes
representing their thinking
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