Sunday, August 2, 2009

Standards Sundays: Grade 5 measurement and geometry

Geometry is every where!

Before I even learned geometry, I hated it. And only because Anne from Anne of Green Gables hated it. Then, when I actually learned it myself, I began to like it. It was my favorite math course, other than History of Math, at UCD. And it is also one of the reasons why I decided to teach.

The fifth grade math standards on measurement and geometry are relatively straightforward:

- area
- surface area
- volume
- angles
- certain properties of angles

There's a lot of derivation (I don't enjoy the "memorize the formula" way anyway), but geometry is such that each previous item literally builds on the next. Which is probably why I would prefer to teach all of this in an earlier grade. Concrete thinking minds of younger students grasp concrete stuff like geometry so quickly. Still, there is a solid 4 weeks worth of lessons right here. At the least, since it doesn't include review and applications for problem solving.

The only tricky thing I've found in teaching this group of standards is this one:

2.3 Visualize and draw two-dimensional views of three-dimensional objects made
from rectangular solids.

It's amazing to me how students who grew up in the video game and digital imagery era can have such a difficult time visualizing a 3D object from a 2D point of view. More than half the class last semester just didn't get it until the third or fourth teaching. Perhaps I just taught it weird.

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