**New Zealand Curriculum: **Level 3 to early Level 4

**Learning Progression Frameworks:** Measurement Sense, Signpost 5 to Signpost 7

#### Target students

These activities are intended for students who understand how to use metric units of measure to find lengths. When working with units, they should understand the following:

- Units relate to the attribute being measured (for example, length is measured with iterations of length).
- Identical units need to be used when measuring.
- Units should be tiled (or iterated) with no gaps or overlaps to create a measure.
- Units can be equally partitioned into smaller units when greater accuracy is needed.

Students should also know how to use a measurement scale, such as a ruler or tape measure. They should be familiar with the most common metric units of length, metres, centimetres, and possibly millimetres, though they may not be able to convert measures (e.g., 45cm = 450mm). Students should also have a partial or full grasp of their basic multiplication and division facts.

The following diagnostic questions indicate students’ understanding of, and ability to find the areas and perimeters of flat spaces, particularly rectangles. Allow access to pencil and paper and to a calculator if students need it. (show diagnostic questions)

The questions should be presented orally and in a written form so that the student can refer to them. The questions have been posed using a money context but can be changed to other contexts that are engaging to your students.

**Here are three different floors. The numbers show how many tiles are on each side.**

**Which floor has the biggest number of square tiles? **

(Show Copymaster page 1).

__Signs of fluency and understanding:__

Using multiplication to count the number of tiles, i.e., 3 x 6 = 18, 4 x 4 = 16, and 2 x 9 = 18. Recognises that the product of numbers of rows and columns gives the number of tiles.

__What to notice if they don’t solve the problem fluently:__

Counting, in ones, or by skip counting in twos, to find the total number of tiles in each floor. This indicates that the student is not yet able to structure the rectangle in rows and columns. It may also indicate a lack of recognition that multiplication can be used to count the number of tiles.

__Supporting activity:__

Finding areas of rectangles

**Measure the sides of each rectangle in centimetres. Write the measurements down.**

**Use the measurements to work out the area of each rectangle in square centimetres.**

**Write the areas using appropriate numbers and units. **

(Show Copymaster page 2 and make a calculator available).

__Signs of fluency and understanding:__

Measures the side lengths accurately to the nearest centimetre and correctly writes the measures.

Applies multiplication to find and record the areas, i.e., 2 x 18 = 36cm^{2}, 3 x 12 = 36cm^{2}, 6 x 6 = 36cm^{2}, and 4 x 9= 3636cm^{2}.

__What to notice if they don’t solve the problem fluently:__

Draws lines to partition each rectangle into square units of 1cm^{2} then finds a way to count all the squares. This indicates an inability to anticipate the structure of the rectangle in rows and columns.

Applies additive strategies to find the number of square units, such as 6 + 6 = 12, 12 = 12 = 24 and 24 + 12 = 36 to find the area of the square. This may indicate that the student has yet to establish multiplication as a binary (two numbers at a time) operation.

__Supporting activity:__

Finding the areas of rectangles using side lengths

**These rectangles have the same area. The numbers show the length of each side.**

**Do the rectangles have the same perimeter? Please explain.**

(You may need to explain that perimeter is the distance around the outside of each rectangle)

(Show Copymaster page 3 and make a calculator available).

__Signs of fluency and understanding:__

Calculates the perimeter of each rectangle fluently, possibly using a calculator. Recognises that each side measure occurs twice in the perimeter. For example, may use 2 x 12 + 2 x 4 or 2 x (12 + 4) to work out the perimeter of the 12 x 4 rectangle (example).

Might know that regular rectangles tend to have lesser perimeter for a fixed area. Regularity means that the sides are equal so the rectangle closest to a square has the least perimeter.

__What to notice if they don’t solve the problem fluently:__

May use counting or additive strategies to find the perimeters, rather than a combination of addition and multiplication. This suggests the student needs to work on modelling situations that combine operations, like addition and multiplication.

__Supporting activity:__

Finding perimeters

**Which shape has the greatest area? Which shape has the greatest perimeter?**

(Show Copymaster page 4).

__Signs of fluency and understanding:__

Calculates the area and perimeter of each rectangle and allows for half measures of side lengths. May use mental and paper calculation or a calculator using multiplicative reasoning. For example, the area of the 5½ x 5 rectangle is 5.5 x 5 = 27.5 square units, and the perimeter is 2 x (5.5 + 5) = 2 x 10.5 = 21 units.

Answers are:

Area: 5.5 x 5 = 27.5 square units for top left, 4 x 6.5 = 26 square units for top right, and 2.5 x 10 = 25 square units for bottom left. So the top left rectangle has the biggest area.

Perimeter: 2 x (5.5 + 5) = 2 x 10.5 = 21 units for top left, 2 x (4 + 6.5) = 2 x 10.5 = 21 units for top right, and 2 x (2.5 + 10) = 2 x 12.5 = 25 units for bottom left. So the bottom left rectangle has the biggest perimeter.

Recognises that length (perimeter) and area are different attributes, so the measures are expressed using different units, length units for perimeter and square units for area.

__What to notice if they don’t solve the problem fluently:__

May confuse the two attributes, area, and perimeter, when providing answers.

May have difficulty with partial units and either ignore them or be unsure about how to allow for half units in calculation. This might indicate that the student needs experience in finding areas of shapes that include partial units and in calculating areas and perimeters where partial units are involved.

__Supporting activity:__

Working with partial units

**Find the area and perimeter of this rectangle as accurately as you can.**

**Use a ruler to measure the side lengths first then find the answers using a calculator.**

(Show Copymaster page 5).

__Signs of fluency and understanding:__

Measures the side lengths accurately and expresses the lengths as 18.5cm or 185mm and 11.3cm or 113mm.

Correctly applies an appropriate algorithm for both area and perimeter. For area they work out 18.5 x 11.3 = 209.05cm^{2} or 185 x 113 = 20 905mm^{2}. For perimeter they work out 2 x (18.5 + 11.3) = 59.6cm or 2 x (185 + 113) 596mm. Answers should include the number and unit of measure.

__What to notice if they don’t solve the problem fluently:__

May be unsure about how to accommodate fractional numbers of measurement units. This may show as uncertainty regarding how to express length and width as 18.5cm and 11.3cm respectively. This may indicate that the student needs experience with accurately measuring lengths using smaller units in the metric system.

May measure the side lengths accurately but be unclear about how to find the area and perimeter by calculation and/or express the resulting measure using appropriate units. This indicates the student needs more experience with calculating areas and perimeters with partial units, as provided above in **Working with partial units**.

__Supporting activity:__

Finding areas and perimeters from decimal side lengths

#### Teaching activities