• best teaching practices
• # Perimeter and Area of Irregular Shapes

## Finding Parallel Sides

The first thing my students practice is finding the set of parallel sides. Doing this will help the students calculate the lengths of missing sides as well as reinforce the concept of parallel sides.

To break this down even further, the students set up equations. This helps them with identifying the two short lengths that make the long length of each parallel side.

## Finding the Perimeter

Build off finding the set of parallel sides to find the missing lengths.

Perimeter is the length or distance that goes around. Instead of adding all of the individual sides together (which of course students could do), I encourage my students to use the formula of finding the perimeter of a rectangle. Help the students make the connection that the long sides make up the length and the width.

After helping students make the connection of the rectangle, they use the formula p = (2xl) + (2xw). Using the formula not only reinforces the skill but helps reduce computation errors of adding up a whole set of numbers.

## Finding the Area

Once again, I always start by building off of finding the set of parallel sides and calculating any missing side lengths.

Since area is the space inside a shape, break the shape into two separate shapes.

Find the area of the two separate quadrilaterals using the formula A = l x w.

A: 7 x 3 = 21 cm squared

B: 10 x 5 = 50 cm squared

Combine the areas of the two separate quadrilaterals to find the total area of the irregular shape.

Is there a specific strategy you use in your classroom to help with perimeter and area of irregular shapes? Let me know!

• best teaching practices
• # Is it 10x the value or 1/10 the value?

FOCUS TEK: Supporting 4.2A interpret the value of each place-value position as ten times the position to the right and as one-tenth of the value of the place to its left For some reason, this TEK has always been a tricky one for students to grasp. I think we need to understand that students are […]

• best teaching practices
• # Multiplying Fractions: Keeping the Skill in Context I have found my students struggling to grasp the act of multiplying and dividing fractions conceptually. One suggestion would be to always keep it in context – I like to introduce and practice the skill by using word problems. 5th Grade TEKS related to Multiplication of Fractions [Supporting Standard] 5.3I represent and solve multiplication of […]

• best teaching practices
• # Less than, Equal to, or More than ½

Now that students have had plenty of practice with comparing fractions to a half, this part is just building upon that same foundation! Hands On with Fraction Bars Building upon what students know, they are now ready to compare a fraction to a half! In order to help students understand this in a little more depth, […]

• best teaching practices
• # Making Half Finding Half Using Fraction Bars Before diving into equivalent fractions, I have found that letting students explore by building ½ with fraction bars helps build a foundation for equivalent fractions. FREEBIE ACTIVITY CLICK HERE After this simple hands on activity, students will understand – The denominator needs to be an EVEN number in order to take half – There […]

• building conceptual understanding
• # Comparing Fractions with Common Denominators & Common Numerators If students understand what a fraction is and have a good understanding of comparing unit fractions, comparing fractions with a common denominator and numerator will be a confidence booster! Check out these previous posts: Fractions Introduction Unit Fractions Like I’ve said in my previous post, first, I get students to practice by using fraction bars […]

• building conceptual understanding
• # Pizza Fractions – Unit Fractions I always start with this activity as a foundation for comparing unit fractions. Every year, this activity is a huge hit with my students! Fraction Pizza Activity: Team Challenge Group students into groups of 4 and put the timer on for 30 minutes. 1) Work with your group to make pizzas 2) Everyone will be assigned […]