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# What is Area? Concept Review with Task Cards

As we are nearing the culmination of time before our 7th Grade STAAR testing for Math, I spent some time reviewing some key concepts that were tricking my students this past week.

I was so happy to come across these awesome task cards by Miss Math Dork where my students were required to find the area of irregular figures. Visual characteristics of a shape are definitely a weak point for my students but I think with the key steps I taught them, they should have it down.

Â Just a reminder, I teach in with Texas Virtual Academy. My students come to class in a virtual online classroom and we do a lot of our work on a virtual whiteboard. I started off asking them what area was. I wanted to see what level they were at with their use of the word as well as the previous knowledge they were bringing in to class. As you can see, my students came in with a basic knowledge and some of them even corrected each other as they were writing which is awesome!

So, next up we talked about the steps that we could go through to break down larger figures. This sort of guided them to where I provided each of them with the following handout. {Hint, hint… click on the picture to download it FREE for yourself}

Okay, now we have all of our tools in hand to start working on some amazing task cards. Miss Math Dork made it so easy for me to show a task card to my students and then break them down into individual shapes and talk about congruent lines all at the same time. Lots of mini-lessons all in one and it ROCKED! {I will warn you, the next paragraph shows the different conversations with my students in bold purple.}

Of course my group wanted to go straight to adding up all the sides. ARGH! Let’s refer back to our stepsWhat do we do first?Â This is when the whining started… Oh, we need to break it down first. So what shapes do you see in this figure? Rectangle was obvious to them at first so I highlighted the border of the rectangle.Â

So how do we find the area of a rectangle. That’s easy Mrs. S, it’s length x width. Show me! 5 cm x 4 cm is 20 cm.Â Now what other shapes do we see. This is when the student’s argued over breaking down the final area into one triangle or two. We finally decided that based on the measurements we had it would be easier to do just two triangles since we could multiply the area of one by 2 to find the total area.Â

As you can see, we worked this out on the task card and my students loved showing their division skills and eventually their adding with decimals.

Â Now, this one totally threw them for a loop at first. It was easy to pull off the rectangle and then a given triangle on the left. Which is funny because after I had done this with my students, I talked with Miss Math Dork and she originally had this planned as a rectangle and a parallelogram. Goes to show you the versatility in math. Now, I had to help my kiddos on this one because we don’t teach Pythagorean Theorem in 7th grade and therefore I had to give them the 3rd measure of the triangle. In the end the hardest part was getting them to break down the top measurement of 15km into two different measures for the two different shapes.

By the end of the class my students were ready to work on some of the task cards on their own. I gave them each a separate task card that they had to print out and submit back to me showing their steps kind of like a task card. They did awesome and I loved seeing all of the highlighted areas of various shapes to make up larger shapes.

Wow, if you have stayed with me through all of this, THANK YOU! Now, if your students struggle with Irregular Figures as much as mine do, you might want to pick up these awesome Area of Irregular Figures Task Cards and add them into your classroom for some awesome, out of the box, thinking.

Looking for another great math idea? Check out what Miss Math Dork has in store for you over on her blog today!

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