Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quadrilateral Design Project

Recently I taught our 6th math unit on quadrilaterals to my 5th graders.  This is a quicker unit than decimals and fractions, but I wanted to try to make it fun and have a cute/creative project for them to work on to apply the skills they have learned.

One of the standards they have to master is classifying quadrilaterals and understand the hierarchy of these shapes.  The project I came up with for them to apply this understanding was a design project.  Each student must think of a space (place) they would like to design, but all of the components of the design MUST be a quadrilateral.  I have them sketch out a rough draft of their idea, and then they complete the final copy on a print-out of grid paper.  The smaller the squares, the better!  This is helpful because it makes it easer to draw straight lines and organize the design neatly.

The other component of the project is having them create a "key" for their design.  For this, they must write down the five quadrilaterals required to be included:  rectangle, parallelogram, square, rhombus, and trapezoid.  They have to list the properties of each of the quadrilaterals and then draw the symbols of those quadrilaterals from their design in the quadrilateral category they belong to, along with a label as to what the shape represents in the photo.  For example, if they have designed a classroom and they drew squares for desks, they would draw one of those in the square category and label it "desk".

Below are some of my class's examples from this year.  These will help you to better understand what the project looks like when it's complete.  I was incredibly impressed with how they turned out and so proud of my students' creativity in this assignment.
I recently turned this project into a product, so if you are interested in doing this with your class, you can find it HERE.  You will have a student directions page and a rubric to help guide your students through the project.  This was such a fun way to complete our unit and my students had a great time with it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Classifying Quadrilaterals

Today we began our 6th math unit: 2D Figures.  In this unit, we hit Common Core Geometry standards 5.G.3 and 5.G.4.

I started out by using an activity provided in our Georgia math frameworks from our district to introduce quadrilaterals.  Each student received 12 numbered cards containing quadrilaterals on them.  Once each student cut out their cards and looked at them, I had them work in their teams to try and come up with a way to group them.  They were able to write on their desks to help organize the cards and label each of the different groups.

I was very surprised to see all of the different ways that each group decided to classify their quadrilaterals.  Here are what some of the desks looked like:

<-----  This student grouped them by "type" (trapezoid, parallelogram, rectangle, and miscellaneous)

<-----  a grouping based on whether the polygon was regular or irregular

<----- a grouping based on the amount of parallel lines

<----- classification based on the types of angles

One thing was certain in this activity - everybody had a different idea on how to classify the shapes.  I had each group of students rotate around to the other groups to look at the other students' ideas and had them share what surprised them or intrigued them.

After this portion of the activity, I handed the students a chart from our frameworks that contained 6 terms:  quadrilateral, square, rectangle, parallelogram, rhombus, and trapezoid.  Under each term was a list of the criteria for a shape to be classified under that term.  Some of the categories were # of sides, #of angles, # of congruent sides, # of congruent angles, presence of parallel lines, etc.  I had my students arrange all the numbered cards on their desks and we started with "quadrilateral".  We went down the list of attributes for the shape and turned over any cards that did not fit all of the criteria.  For this term, they realized that every card was a quadrilateral.  

Next, we moved onto square and turned over all of the cards that did not fit the square attributes and continued in the manner.  They began to see how certain shapes fit into the category, and how some don't.  It was also a great way to review the terms "parallel" and "congruent". 

Tomorrow, in continuing with quadrilaterals, we will be finishing up the classification of the rest of the 6 terms in the list.  I will also be giving my students a Venn diagram in which they will choose two quadrilaterals to compare and contrast using the attributes that they have learned about in the first activity.

I will be sharing some other activities that I plan to use as we continue through this unit, including a quadrilateral project.  I would love to hear of any feedback you have or ideas on how else to teach the classification of 2D figures.