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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler Where Do You Even Start?

  • Where Do You Even Start?

    Posted by Laura Johns on April 26, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    I have a 7th grade student who is unable to use his notes, can’t recall the area formulas and is generally confused. Prior to our current situation this student was very willing to work after school, and was making some progress in concepts. This is an example of some work he recently submitted. I am not sure whather you can read this but you’ll see that when trying to find the area of a triangle, he somtimes added and other times multiplied.

    Laura Johns replied 2 years, 9 months ago 2 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Kyle Pearce

    April 26, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Laura!

    Tough times indeed during emergency remote learning… especially for students who have struggled in the past.

    In this case, it would appear that this student is not grasping a conceptual understanding of area.

    For example:

    • could this student approximate how many “squares” (inch squares, centimetre squares, etc.) it would take to “cover” the triangle?
    • does he understand that the area of the triangle is half of the area of a rectangle with the same length and height of the triangle?
    • etc.?

    Just some thoughts on how one might go back to work on the conceptual piece as memorizing an algorithm is not going to help this student for very long.

    A set of visual prompts that might help you on Math Is Visual can be found here:

    What are your thoughts?

  • Laura Johns

    April 27, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Kyle,

    Thanks for your quick reply! Based on his work, I am not sure that this student understands the concept of area of a rectagle and he certainly doesn’t understand the area of a triangle.

    I looked at the video ( and the one on triangles) you pointed out to me. I believe I should do some one-on-one work with this student with the goal of having him understand the area of triangles and rectangles.

    His parents would probably agree to this. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the great tips.

  • Laura Johns

    May 6, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    I met with this student and his mother who was off screen, helping out. I used the Math is Visual Area of a Rectangle and then Area of a triangle as Kyle sugested. Then we addressed some examples. This student seemed to have a much better understanding.

    Next we turned to the work that is in the snapshot and I had him tell me what was he needed to do differently. He then corrected the problems and resubmitted his work.

    This was diffinetly a step in the right direction. Thanks, Kyle!