Measurement: area edition

Hey guys!
We've been busy studying area this week in math. I *love* teaching measurement because it is so hands-on and leaves a lot of opportunities for higher thinking. It takes a kid's natural curiosity and encourages it! 

Most of the ideas that I used this week came from Kindergarten Kindergarten. She has some SERIOUSLY fabulous ideas and she's in Texas, too! :) 

I made this (semi) anchor chart to pose the problem to my students:
This problem causes a LOT of discussion and really gets their little minds thinking. We share with our partner and I write their thinking down on the chart.

Then, I begin by giving my kids baggies of shape tiles. We trace the border with our fingers and emphasize "border" and then touch the "surface area". I always use this opportunity to do "mirror with words" and give my kids the definition with motions. 
 {click the picture to snag the anchor chart}

In the baggie, I have several like-shapes that are various sizes. I ask the kids how I could be able to find which one has the larger area. We discuss, they practice, and then we teach a partner which shape has more/less area and justify their answer.
Then, I give my students some "real life" manipulatives. Easiest thing, ever! I place the book bins in the middle of their tables and let them choose which ones to compare. This leaves room for a LOT of discussion and academic vocabulary!
Tomorrow we will begin exploring measuring area with nonstandard units. Stay tuned for more to come!

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