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One year I was preparing to paint the cabinet doors in my classroom and I asked the students to help me figure out how much paint we needed. The students measured the height and width of the cabinet doors, some in centimetres and some in metres. We talked about which measurement was easier to use when subsequently finding the surface area. Here in Grade 5, students haven’t been exposed to multiplying decimal numbers yet, so that posed a problem if they measured in meters…so we needed to either convert or learn to multiply decimals a little early!
All of the doors were congruent rectangles, which meant the students were able to add or multiply to find the total. Other attributes that we could have measured, but didn’t are: the volume of the cupboards, the height from the floor, the color density before and after, the approximate fraction of paint that was peeling off 😂
I’m still struggling a little with distinguishing between an attribute and a property. If I had asked the students to study the cabinets and classify them between which ones closed properly and which ones didn’t, would we be looking at a property, whereas an attribute would be that each cupboard had a metal closer (whether it worked or not?). Could a property also be that the cabinet doors are all rectangles with 4 right angles and the opposite sides congruent? Or are those attributes? Or both?