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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Maker Math: Valentine's Day Cubes

Maker math is lots of fun. Basically students take out scissors, tape, colored pencils, and more to learn math by making.

A simple activity we did today worked well as a review of area, perimeter, volume, and the attributes of solid figures.

I made a cube net using Google Table in the following ways:
  • First I set the font size to ~24 pt Arial which makes a nice table cell equal to just about one square centimeter.
  • Next I made a 16 X 12 table.
  • I merged the cells surrounding the net and printed copies for every student.
Students then decorated the nets.

After that we "scooped counted" to find perimeter (to "scoop count" you make a half circle from one point of a unit to the next) and checked our count. We discussed other ways to find the perimeter of the net.

Then we found the surface area of the net in multiple ways. We discussed the use of symmetry as well with regard to finding the perimeter and area of the net.

Finally, we made the cubes and discussed the attributes of solid figures including edges, vertices, and faces and volume. When we figured out that volume was 64 cubic centimeters, I made a cubic centimeter to show them how small that would be. 

We studied volume by making snowmen with a
variety of cubes. We figured out the volume of
each cube and the entire snowman later. 
I also suggested that instead of Valentine's Day cards, students could make Valentine's day cubes with little surprises inside. One student said that he was already "prototyping" that idea.

This is a good maker math activity, one that fits nicely with the "volume snowman" activity we completed a month ago.