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These are my responses to the Problems in Session for Grades 6-8.
Please let me know what you think.
Hands-on experiences are important even for students who are
comfortable with more abstract concepts. The teachers in the video
shared the benefits of having participated in the measurement activities
themselves. Investigations in which participants are engaged in actual
construction and measurement increase and deepen the understanding of
concepts such as area and perimeter. Students are better able to
visualize and make sense of measurement as a whole. Manipulatives help
students to bridge the gap between concrete and abstract. Not only do
they necessitate activity and involvement, but they provide a physical
model that students can connect with.
I think that Mr. Cellucci's lesson purpose was clear. The students
were able to explore the changes in surface area with a solid having a
constant volume. Additional activities with other three-dimensional
solids (cylinders, pyramids, cones, etc.) could be added to enhance and
deepen students' understanding of this concept.
A key element in the success of the lesson was the opportunity for
students to work together and to communicate their observations and
findings. Groups came up with their own methods of approaching the
problem. The lesson was not just an exploratory activity, but also an
investigation and a problem-solving activity. Students used various
strategies jointly to arrive at their conclusions. If they weren't
able to reach a conclusion during the exploration, they were able to see
information contributed by other groups as recorded on the board. This
was helpful in leading students to see how the smallest surface area
could be achieved. The lesson included opportunities for measurement,
construction, observation, calculation, and communication. The lesson
built on concepts familiar to the students (area, squares, and cubes)
and extended previous knowledge to other concepts (surface area and
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