Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pie-Eating Contest

     Sandwiched between a unit on long division and a unit on perimeter and area, our fourth grade curriculum called for a very quick unit on angles.  As it does quite often, inspiration came from Andrew Stadel's estimation180 site; in particular the activities for days 112, 113, and 114.   Relating angles to pieces of pie led me to adapt the Everyday Math game Angle Race into a "pie-eating contest" for our fourth graders.

The game consists of two circles (the pies) and a set of Angle Race cards.  Partners take turns drawing a card and then using a protractor to measure off the right sized piece.  Keep going until you've eaten your entire pie.  Whoever finishes the pie first is the winner!   I liked this better than the original game because it added the skill of drawing angles with a protractor.

Jeff and I started a demo game under the document camera.  We wanted the kids to keep a running total of their angle measurements from 0 to 360. Later we decided to change this by asking the kids to start at 360 and subtract down to 0.  We felt they could use the subtraction practice more than the addition practice.

An example of each.

     After looking at their completed pies, I had another idea.  Cut out the slices and classify them as acute, obtuse, right, or straight.

Jeff and I thought it would be a good idea to let them combine angles.  Here two 15 degree angles and a 150 degree angle have been combined to make 180 degree angle.

Three 30 degree angles make one right angle.

All done!

I had some other ideas that I did not get to try out:
  • Have partners cut out their slices, mix them up, and then reassemble the pies like a puzzle.

I tried this out.  This was not the original configuration.
  • Play a game where the pieces get all mixed up.  Players take turns  pulling out a piece at random.  Larger piece (or smaller piece) wins, and player gets points equal to difference in size.
I'm sure there are lots of others. Feel free to comment and add your own ideas.

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