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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Measurement and Geometry Unit

Here in Colorado, we have two more months of school before summer break, and as of last week, we have taught ALL of our math standards!  Yay!  Now it's on to some collaborative projects, STEM activities, and enrichment while we review all of the concepts we worked on this year.  Before we begin those super fun activities, though, we had to finish up our geometry and measurement unit, and I'm here to share some of the activities we did!

For ALL of our geometry concepts, we compiled our notes into a big Geometry Waterfall booklet.  We do A LOT of interactive note-booking throughout the year, so I wanted to change it up a bit for this unit, and they really enjoyed it!  Here is a peek inside our waterfall booklets.

We started with area and perimeter.  The notes they took were really basic since they remembered many of these skills from third grade.  Here is another blog post I wrote about PERIMETER AND AREA with a ton of other ideas and activities that we did in the past and did again this go around! 

Then, we worked on line study.  This is one of my favorite parts because of the line study activity we do every year.  Kids love it SO much!  Here is a look at the very basic page in our booklet...

Now the fun begins!  My kids make their own hands-on line study packets for practicing.  You can read more about that in old blog posts HERE and HERE.

Next it was on to Angles!  

This looks like SO MUCH when it is all put together.  However, we did this over the course of two or three days and walked through each step.  It would have been far too overwhelming to do all at once, so I don't recommend it. :)   I have blogged about ANGLES and the activities we do HERE and HERE.

Next, it was on to Classifying Polygons.  We really didn't spend too much time on this after we made our waterfall booklets.  We played a few games during math workshop, and they caught on very quickly!

Finally, we worked for a day or two on symmetry.  Again, they were familiar with the concept, so we took it a bit further with our discussion.

They created shapes using pattern blocks and mirrors to check for symmetry.  If you've never taught symmetry this way, I HIGHLY recommend it!

When we were done with these concepts (which took about three weeks in total, between whole group instruction and math workshop rotations), it was on to measurement! On the first day of instruction, we reviewed the difference between Customary and Metric measurement, which was actually a big struggle for a lot of my kids.  We also reviewed relative size using an anchor chart I found on Pinterest!  If you are the original creator of this chart, please let me know!

The next day, we briefly introduced converting measures, which again, was fairly foreign to most of them.  It was SO nice that day (and we were in the middle of state testing), so we took it outside.  I created a quick little sheet that gave them specific things to measure on our playground.  Then, they had to convert into feet, inches, yards, etc. as well as centimeters and meters.  It was just the break we needed!

You can download a copy of the SUPER BASIC recording sheet HERE.

The next day, we combined all of our geometry and measurement skills with these real world task cards.  My students loved them so much that they started taking and drawing their own pictures and writing questions! I love to see students take action like that.

You can find these Geometry and Measurement Picture Task Cards HERE.

One more connection we made to the real world was with our Geometry Circle Map.  Students found examples in the real world and we put them into a circle map.  I keep forgetting to take a picture of ours, but here's one from a few years ago...

Once we were done with measurement, it was time to review ALL of the learning we had done for the past month.  This was undeniably the highlight of the unit!  I combined all of the concepts we had worked on and made a quiz style review game using task cards.  Set up was easy because I already had the task cards made for each topic from math workshop.  You can read more about how we play the game with fractions HERE (there is also a link to download the point cards and a recording sheet).  This time, though, I made it a little bit simpler and just had teams get FULL points if they were the first done and got it correct, and then the rest of the kids got half points if they got it correct. That way there is still incentive to finish it and do well!

When a card was chosen, I would project it up on the document camera while groups read and solved it together.
When we were done with the game, my kids BEGGED me to put new cards in it and play again!

You can purchase the task cards I used for the review game (and throughout my ENTIRE unit) in a Bundle HERE or separately if you only need a few sets! :)  Happy teaching.


  1. Mary,

    I cannot believe you and your colleagues have covered ALL the math standards--and so soon before the end of the year! What math program does your school use? I'm in a rural town in Northern California and we just adopted Everyday Math this year. Using the program's pacing guide we should be through all standards by now, but we are VERY far behind. That is to be expected with a new adoption, but it definitely makes all of us feel like bad teachers! I love your products and use them so often. Thanks for being such a great inspiration!

    1. Hi There! We actually don't follow a curriculum, which is likely why we have finished them all. :) We create our own pacing guides and plan by standard. You are ABSOLUTELY not bad teachers. Curriculums can be very limiting and sometimes a bit unrealistic. Just do the best you can, and that will be enough! :)