Make Math Moments Academy › Forums › Full Workshop Reflections › Module 5: Planning Your Problem Based Lessons › Lesson 56: Proceed or Pivot › Lesson 56: Question › Reply To: Lesson 56: Question

In third grade we introduce area of rectangles and composite shapes. The first few lessons go through area using square unit tiles and comparing square centimeters to square inches. After a few days of using the concrete manipulatives we move to solving the problems with just the measurements. Then we are presented with composite figures with measurements. Every year my students struggle going from the rectangles to the composite figures but because we are on a time table for completing lessons I follow the lesson sequence.
I think that I need to pivot and prove concrete examples of area with composite figures so that students can see the square units and how the composite figures are made up of a variety of rectangles. Students really struggle when they are not given all the side lengths of the rectangles in the composite figures because they don’t see the rectangles within the composite shape. Before teaching the lessons on area of composite shapes, I think I need a task where students are looking at the shapes within a composite figure.