I flashed this image on the SmartBoard for a few seconds, then took it down:
Using snap cubes, students had to build the structure from memory:
|It's OK to show it a second and even a third time.|
After all had built the structure, I asked them to share how they had visualized it in their minds, and their responses were quite varied. Some saw a 2 by 3 rectangular prism with a two-step staircase attached, others saw a three-step staircase with a 1 by 3 rectangular prism attached. Still others saw 3 levels: 4 on the bottom, 3 in the middle, and 2 on the top.
Then I asked about the structure's volume, and they generated lots of equations:
I liked this activity for several reasons:
- It reinforced the idea of finding the volume of non-overlapping right rectangular prisms, which is a major grade 5 focus.
- It reinforced order of operations and writing equations, another grade 5 standard.
- It inspired a little number talk.
Also, the kids loved it! They want to do it again, but next time with, as one student put it, "Harder shapes." So I have this one loaded up:
This activity comes from Grayson Wheatley. Again, flash the image for a few seconds, then take it down. Ask kids to draw the figure from memory.
|I chose this one for our first try.|
One student's effort:
quick draw video from Joe Schwartz on Vimeo.
As with quick build, I asked the kids how they visualized:
- "A square, with a box around it, with 4 trapezoids."
- "A box in a box with 4 lines connecting the corners."
- "A 3-D cube facing me."
- "A room with a ceiling, two walls, and a floor."
- "A pyramid with the top cut off."
Lots of great vocabulary was generated:
|Parallel and intersecting lines, right, acute, and obtuse angles, corners, sides, 2- and 3- dimensional shape names...what's not to like?|
Number talks, counting circles, estimation180, subitizing; we've done a good job infusing these routines into our instructional practice. That's a balance weighted heavily on the number sense side. These two routines, which emphasize spatial reasoning and geometry, are a needed and important counterweight, and I look forward to more experimentation across grades K-5. And again, thanks to Math = Love for the inspiration!