In Everyday Math, unit 8 in 4th grade is all about area and perimeter. The unit is very short and I therefore saw a need for concrete practice with calculations. My husband, who happens to be a house designer and builder, agreed to co-teach this with me.
Length of project: 5 days
- 4’x8′ plywood, this is the base of our city. (This is not necessary but we chose to use it to elevate the project off the floor)
- Lots and lots of cardboard in various colors
- Thick cardboard cut into the lot sizes specified, they will serve as base for the students to build on.
- White paper for sketching
- Hand outs for students:
- We wrapped the plywood in gray paper for roads and drew in all of the lots and roads. (We placed the wrapped plywood in the classroom a day in advance to build anticipation, it was great fun!)
- Copies for each person as needed
- Poster hung for Building Process
- Lottery lot numbers made and cut out, one for each student to draw. I worte on them lot # and what type of building.
- Scale decided upon: 10 feet = 1 inch
- Height of each story = 10 feet
- There must be 10% green space left on lot
- Single family homes must have at least 20% garage of house square footage
- Shopping malls etc. must have 40% of square footage be parking
- My husband used this presentation to reveal what the project would be, the video was stopped when “Kelly” was introduced.
- Then he showed a slide show of different types of houses to show the students what houses could look like, again sparking that creativity.
- We would stop and let kids get excited with each other for a couple of minutes.
- We made a list of math we would need to use: Scale, area, perimeter, fractions, decimals, percentages. There may even be more, only time will tell.
- Then time to sketch. Some students work in teams (if they are designing/building a large building) while others work by themselves. This is their time to try out several ideas that will fit with their requirements.
- The rest of the class time was used on sketching, answering questions and just checking in with students.
- Start out by answering any questions students may have.
- Discuss math conversions needed by using this prezi
- I would also sketch out at some point what it means to draw a detailed dimension plan.
- Meet with students to see if they have everything figured out and give them architectural approval.
- Students design, draw, and meet to get their building permits.
- The process is as follows: Concept design, architectural control, permit checklist, detailed plans, building permit, build your house.
- This is where the support will happen as students try to do the math needed for the project.
- Obviously different levels of support are needed for this for each student, modify as you go.
Coming soon: pictures, video and progress reports.