Area of a Triangle: Discovering the Formula

My area and perimeter unit is seriously one of my favorite things to teach in fifth!  I love the formulas, the real life math experiences, and the hands on learning that can happen.  This week, I did a simple, yet totally powerful demonstration to help my students discover, and most of all remember, the formula for the area of a triangle. I gave each student a 5 inch by 5 inch square.  We used our rulers to measure five rows and five columns to show the area of our square. Last year, I used a 4 inch by 4 inch…

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Unwrap a Gift from ME!

I am going to make a crazy generalization here and say that you have about two weeks left before Christmas Break and you are EXHAUSTED with a HUGE list of things you’d like to get done before break…..am I close?  Now, I can’t make the to-do list disappear, but I can help provide you with a super fun set of brain teasers that my kids enjoyed for FREE! I truly love blogging, chatting, statusing (….will that be added to Webster’s Dictionary soon?), and sharing with you all!  I have loved the resources, ideas, and support that I have gotten from…

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Finding Perimeter & Area of Irregular Figures

I’ll be honest, I HATE working on perimeter and area of irregular figures!  It is such a challenge for students and the perfectionist in me can’t deal with the mess that these drawings quickly turn into.  This year, I did something extremely basic but so close to my heart; color coding!!!  I have found this method to be very effective for teaching students to visualize how to find the “missing” measurements.  It can also be done quickly, on the fly, and without ANY preparation.   I begin this mini-lesson by telling students to grab two markers of their favorite color….talk…

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