So how do you teach area and perimeter? I'm hoping that it isn't by measuring tables, etc. BORING!!! This is truly one of the easiest maths topics to make the kids get excited about. So many different ways to approach this that I could go on and on so will just share my favourite few. Once the children have mastered the steps needed to calculate the area and perimeter of shapes it is important to use these skills in many different ways.
Make your door like this! They will see it everyday and hopefully will never forget it!
Teach the steps needed to find the area then play this game to practice it. Work in pairs to roll a pair of dice, draw the rectangle to match the measurements given. Write out the perimeter and area of the shape. The winner is the first person to fill their entire block. Not only using area and perimeter skills but also using their thinking and problem solving skills.
BIG CHALK!! Get it and get drawing outside - get the kids measuring or simply calculating the area or perimeter of shapes you have drawn on the floor (or that they have drawn on the floor for each other). An alternative to this is to make shapes on the floor throughout the school using masking tape. Either way, they are not just sat at their desk looking at examples of shapes with measurements on (although this is also necessary to ensure they can read a diagram carefully). I usually get the children to work in pairs or trios to do this. I usually try to have at least 15 different shapes drawn on the floor ranging from simple squares to right angled triangles as well as composite shapes for the children who have a thorough grasp of the topic.
STICKS!! Can the children use the sticks available in your playground (if you don't have any you could always go to the local park and get some) to measure out a given perimeter using their estimation skills? This will test their knowledge of measures and is an excellent chance to get the kids outside and enjoying themselves. (For more ideas on getting them outside visit the blog of Juliet Robertson www.creativestarlearning.blogspot.com)
Once children seem to have grasped the concepts of area and perimeter it is important that they engage with it through different investigations. There are many of these on the internet, many of which you will find with a simple search on google.
Plus my favourite activity that I have ever come across that I am going to give a try this week. Something I found on www.pinterest.com
For now that is it. There are so many area and perimeter videos on youtube (a few of which I have linked to on my maths videos shape, space and measures page).
So if you are teaching area and perimeter soon, get creative, get outside, get them challenged and get them enjoying maths.
I'm a deputy head in Scarborough, England and love using media and tech to develop writing. I'm also a keen advocate of Learning Without Limits and believe in a games based approach to developing mathematicians.