My fourth grade students finished up a project involving area last week. Students were asked to find the area of different playing areas for certain sports. They first calculated the areas of the playing field by multiplying fractions and then found the product.
The next step involved creating a visual model on anchor chart paper. Students worked in groups to put together their athletic park involving the field areas. They were given the area of the park and then had to place the fields where they wanted according to the team’s decision. Students also added additional facilities for their athletic field and then presented their projects to the class.
While presenting, students in the audience were required to either 1) ask a question or 2) provide a constructive comment. Most of the questions that were asked related to why certain fields were placed in specific areas on the field. One question stood out more than the others … does the distance make sense?
Students were looking at the length of the fields and observing whether it was reasonable or not compared to the total length. The class then had a conversation about the terms reasonableness and proportions. The discussion involved how a double-number line and a grid could’ve helped visualize how the distances match.
I’m hoping to revisit this idea during the next few weeks as the school year finishes up.