Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Making Sense of Surface Area (day 2 of 2) - Section 3: Group work


In one of my classes a student was playing with the snap cubes while other students were working productively on the poster. I could have reprimanded him for being off task, but instead asked him what he was doing. He replied that he was wondering what the flat pattern would look like for another shape that he was building. I realized he was still engaged in thinking about the concept of surface area and had made a personal connection to it.

After some thought I decided that we could spend a whole day exploring his idea. I told the kids that Mason had come up with the idea to build some 3D object with a bunch of snap cubes and figure out it's surface area. Each student built a figure and then gave it to a neighbor who would figure out what the flat pattern (net) would have to look like to cover it. Since the idea came from a student it was more engaging and interesting for the class. Students took several different approaches:

They didn't even need to complete the task to gain a deeper sense of the meaning of surface area. The act of physically trying to cover the outer surfaces was enough to cement the concept.

  Student Led Inquiry: Encouraging Curiosity
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Making Sense of Surface Area (day 2 of 2)

Unit 9: Exploring Surface Area
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT clearly articulate and represent visually their understanding of how to calculate surface area.

Big Idea: Surface area is the sum of the areas of all the flat surfaces on a 3D object.

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1 teacher likes this lesson
Math, surface area, Geometry, collaborative groups, visual representation, group presentations
  54 minutes
finished poster
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