You see, I had this fabulous idea to have the kids construct buildings using the bazillion Lego bricks I had at home, then measure the buildings to find the volume of the entire thing. Additive volume, measuring, problem solving....the whole shebang. Awesome, right??
So I brought all of the materials into class, had the kids get into groups, explained what I wanted done, modeled it, and the kids were off.
Here are a few of the completed structures so you can get an idea of the format with which I wanted them to build.
The next day, we did a lesson on the various views of solid figures. This helped them to visualize and see how their rectangular prisms all came together to form a complete figure. They then had to draw the top, side, and front view of their buildings using sticky notes.
On Day four we worked to organize our findings to present it all. I printed out a black and white picture of each building. The kids color coded each rectangular prism and then wrote their work on little cards that were also color coded. They mounted all pieces onto a piece of construction paper so that their math work was visually appealing to passerbys.
The last day of this project we discussed all of the problem solving strategies that we used during the course of the week. I wish I had taken a picture of our white board because the strategies we brainstormed literally took up the entire board. There were just SO many different things we did! We:
* Used formulas
* Broke the larger problem into smaller, similar problems
* Used different math tools (rulers, pencils, etc...)
* Drew models
* Diagramed with labels
* Drew pictures of our thinking
* Made lists of all possible outcomes
* Discussed how to solve the problem
and many more things. The kids were even a bit taken aback by all of the mathematical thinking processes that were taking place. So I had them work together to write a paragraph explaining at least three math strategies they used and how the strategy was successful in helping them complete the project.
So there you have it. Something that started out as an awesome idea, that turned not so awesome, but ended pretty awesomely (can I say awesome anymore?) One tip I do have though is to use Duplo blocks, not actual Lego bricks. The Legos were just too small to manipulate and much harder to create the solid rectangular prisms. Duplos worked a lot better.
What do you do to teach additive volume? Any awesome projects?