Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The World of Geometry! Make It Accessible to ELLs:)

This is a 3 dimensional world and therefore provides lots of "instructional material" everywhere you look.  For students, it is an eye-opener.  Challenge them to find all the 3 dimensional objects in your classroom.  Have them find the LENGTH, WIDTH,  and HEIGHT of assigned objects.

Once they have completed that, have them calculate the SURFACE AREAS of those objects.  Once that is done, the next step is to figure out the VOLUME the object takes up.  Take one object, measure length, width, and height.  Show students how to calculate how much space the object takes up using a document camera if you have access to one OR a smartboard.  Then try another object as a team or partner project.  After that, have students try other objects and then share their results (along with explanations as to how they arrived at their answers).    For homework, have them do something similar.  Find 5 objects in their homes and then compute the surface area and volume for each item.  With all the examples from class, they should experience success with it.


There are many more geometric shape activities here and all tie the abstract to the concrete.

Please note that I am not a math teacher, but often find myself trying to help ELLs see the "big picture" when trying to help them with their geometry homework.  Many times, it is a language issue that they struggle with and not so much the mathematical operations.  

Nice review for finals possibly.



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