Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Session 10, Grades 3-5, Part A:
The Concept of Area (25 minutes)

 To begin to explore what the teaching of measurement might look like in the classroom, participants in the Measurement course first revisited a problem on area presented during Session 6. The participants then considered how children make sense of these ideas and discussed ways to present area concepts to elementary school students.

 Video Segment In this video segment, four teachers discuss some of the important concepts involving area that are encountered by students in grades 3-5. When planning instructional sequences, teachers need to consider what mathematical skills and concepts students need to understand and what activities will help them develop that understanding. If you are using a VCR, you can find this segment on the session video approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds after the Annenberg Media logo.

Problem A1

Answer the questions based on what you saw in the video:

 a. What concepts and skills did the teachers mention as being important for students to understand? b. What types of activities might be used to help students make sense of these concepts and skills? c. Are there related concepts or skills that will affect whether or not students can understand and use these ideas? d. Thinking back to the big ideas of this course, what are some other ideas that students should encounter to help extend and deepen their understanding of area?

 Problem A2 Choose one of the concepts that you listed for Problem A1 and describe an instructional activity that you might use to help students grasp that concept.

 Problem A3 What role do manipulative materials play in making sense of these mathematical ideas? Do they support or hinder students' mathematical understanding of conservation of area?