Using Rich Tasks: Area and Perimeter
not available (2016)
The concepts of area and perimeter permeate our lives. In everyday life area and perimeter are used constantly – for example, for describing the size of a house by talking about its floor area, or for working out how much wire is needed to fence off a field. In the mathematics curriculum at school they are addressed from the elementary years, through to the concept of area in calculus. Because the concepts of area and perimeter are so much present in everyday life, elementary students will already have an intuitive understanding before encountering the topics in maths lessons. In this unit you will learn how to nurture this intuitive understanding and transform it into a more theoretical understanding, and to link outside life experiences with classroom practice. You will also focus on using rich questions that act as triggers for effective group discussions and paired work. When we ask students to discuss something, we first need to give them something to discuss! Several of the activities in this unit have a similar structure, but different focuses or concepts are used to show how a set of rewarding tasks can be turned into another rich activity by keeping the structure and making small changes to the focus.