Fourth grade mathematicians in Math Department Chair Maura Oare's class have been practicing calculating perimeter this month. They are designing perimeter animals, like a turtle inspired by their classroom mathscot, and then calculating the perimeter using addition.
The class culminated their work with perimeters with two activities designed to stretch their understanding of irregular perimeters. For the first activity, half the class worked in partners filling in all the possible side measurements for rectangles of various perimeters and drawing and coloring them beneath the measurement chart. For example, how many different rectangles can a student find with a perimeter of 20 units? Students should be able to come up with five when they remember that a square is a kind of rectangle.
In the second activity, Maura asks her students to use tiles to create an irregular shape of their choosing. It could be a kind of animal, an object, or even a Minecraft person. Once students have finished their design, they transfer it onto graph paper and use everything they have learned about the perimeter of rectangles to find the perimeter of the entire shape. Students had the opportunity to complete both activities, and before Thanksgiving break, they will learn how to calculate the area of the same shapes using multiplication.