On Fridays I have Year 7 last lesson. I have a top set, and they can generally get on with work, but as everybody, they are pretty tired by the end of the week. I try to plan activities that will get them actively involved in the lesson particularly for this lesson with them.
This week I found this excellent set of rather challenging Area and Perimeter Problems uploaded to TES by JamesBeltrami. His suggestion is to have them printed at the front and have pairs answer questions, and come and collect a new question when done. I took this idea and resource, and changed it slightly.
I managed to book our little studio (officially a dance studio, but really just a nice small open space). When the students arrived at the studio (I had told them to come here the previous lesson), they walked in to find 14 questions stuck up on the wall around the room. I got them to find a partner and sit down on the floor whilst I explained what they were going to do.
They spent the next 30 minutes rushing round the room in their pairs answering as many of the questions as they could. Some of the questions got them to use some algebra (most needed pointing in this direction), and others got them to think more about the shape. I refused to tell them if they had got the right answer during this 30 minutes, instead wanting them to double check their own work.
Once the 30 minutes was up, they all sat on the floor, swapped answer sheets, and marked their answers. There was a huge variety in th marks they got, and some questions which definitely need to be looked at again next week with fresher eyes.
Although none of them needed it, I was prepared with an extension task too. This was going to be for them to come up with their own area and perimeter problem, now they had lots of experience in solving them.
A thoroughly enjoyable and effective activity, this resource had the WHOLE class working for 30 solid minutes. They not only reviewed their learning on areas and perimeters (including triangles), but also used a little bit of algebra to help them on their way. I would definitely recommend the resource as it contains some excellent questions, but why not also try it in a more active way to get your class out of their seats and participating in their learning.
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I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a current interest in integrating educational research into my practice.