The Problem -
Math students who can readily master areas and perimeters of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles are mysteriously baffled by composite figures (often called “compound” or “irregular” - figures formed by a combination of two or more of these simple polygons). They fail to notice that some side lengths are missing. When they do notice, they don’t know how to determine these side lengths. They leave out sides when determining perimeter, adding up four numbers to get the perimeter of a six-sided polygon. They over-simplify area calculations, thinking that base times height should take care of area no matter how many sides the figure has. Many are simply overwhelmed by the multiple steps required to address these types of figures.
The Solution - Composite Figure Mania!
Created specifically to address difficulties with these types of polygons and based upon observations of what works in the classroom, this product helps students quickly achieve mastery of composite figures. It eases students into these figures step-by-step, providing scaffolding as needed and teaching the students to think critically as they address a variety of increasingly challenging polygons.
Methods of Purchase for Geometry “Mania” Products:
This and associated geometry “Mania” products can be purchased in two different ways, depending upon customer needs and preferences:
1. By purchasing any combination of the stand–alone products below. If you are interested in exploring just a couple of these areas, you should choose this method:
Polygon Classification Challenge
, which introduces polygons and their various characteristics in detail via a lively competition in which students examine a set of definitions (and even sing a polygon song!), then attempt to classify as many polygons as possible over one class period. A detailed key is provided so that the teacher may review the types of polygons in detail with the students. A great way to begin a two-dimensional geometry unit!
, which delves deeper into quadrilaterals specifically via a story told in rhyme and pictures (with an amazing cast of characters!), quadrilateral family tree worksheets, rap songs/poems, and the Quadrilateral Classification Challenge game.
, which addresses parallelogram properties and area and perimeter via a story told in rhyme and pictures (featuring the same cast of characters introduced in Quadrilateral Mania), poetry, a “Voyage of Discovery” that guides students on a journey to revelations regarding areas of various types of parallelograms, and worksheets that cement parallelogram area and perimeter concepts.
, which attacks triangle classification as well as area and perimeter. It consists of stories told in rhyme and pictures, a “Voyage of Discovery” that leads students to determine how to calculate areas of triangles, triangle poetry that helps students classify triangles, a triangle classification game, and two separate worksheets that address area, perimeter, and classification.
Composite Figure Mania
- this product!
Two-Dimensional Geometry Review and Unit Assessment (soon to be released separately), which provide a comprehensive method for the teacher to review and then test the students on all that they have learned in these mini units.
2. By purchasing the complete, bundled, four-week math unit, Two-Dimensional Geometry Mania
, which contains all of the individual products listed above, at a significantly discounted price. If you would like to cover most of these topics with your classes, this is the recommended approach!
More Detail on Composite Figure Mania:
This product, Composite Figure Mania, is a 3-5 day unit that consists of three “rounds” of three different activities:
The "Warm-up" activity: These thought-provoking questions get the students’ creative juices flowing and stimulate their mathematical thinking, thereby readying them for the lesson to come.
The "Exploration and Notes" pages: These pictorially illustrated, guided note-taking activities immediately follow the warm-up activity and allow the teacher to guide the students through the various steps used to find area and perimeter of composite figures. There is much opportunity for rich discussion as the students help the teacher fill in key information and ask questions along the way.
The "Worksheet": Students use the worksheet to practice what they have learned via the warm-up and note taking and exploration activities. Scaffolding is provided on earlier problems and then removed as the students successfully address more challenging problems on their own.
The first “Round” of the above three activities addresses figures that can be broken down into rectangles only. It begins with a general discussion of what makes a polygon a composite figure and then focuses on finding missing side lengths, breaking the figures into rectangles, and determining their perimeters and areas.
The second “Round” of these activities moves on to figures that can be broken down into combinations of two different types of figures. Figures that are composed of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles are addressed, and students are guided through determining whether to combine these areas by adding or by subtracting. This round also includes a review of triangle and parallelogram area poetry seen in previous products.
The third “Round” of these activities completes the package by attacking challenging figures that are composed of three or more polygons, addressing figures in which the area of the “shaded region” must be found, and applying the students knowledge to some real-world situations (via word problems).
These “Rounds” of activities work together sequentially and effectively to firmly establish your students' grasp of composite figures.
Good luck with your use of Composite Figure Mania!
Feel free to check out a growing number of other products that use poetry, songs, games, worksheets, and assessments to make math fun and help students to learn a variety of common core math standards.
Click here to view Algebraic Equation Products
Click here to view Divisibility Rule Products
Click here to view Elementary to Middle School Transition Products
Click here to view Fraction Products
Click here to view Geometry Products
Click here to view Integer and Order of Operations Products
Click here to view Probability Products
Click here to view Ratio-Rate-Proportion Products
Click here to view Riddle Card Products that Help Retain Math Essentials
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