Monday, April 16, 2012

My Area Zoo! (And a GIVEAWAY Reminder!!)

For the past few weeks, we've been working on our measurement unit.  It's always fun in 2nd grade, because we work with "non-standard" units of measurement!  So yes, things like paperclips, notecards, feet, Cheez-its, get my drift!

The kiddos always catch on to length VERY quickly, and I will admit that sometimes we do have more time alotted than need be for this in our curriculum (but that gives us some "wiggle room" to have some fun with it, too!)

After length comes lovely area!  99.999% of the time, I can get through to my kiddos that it's not as big and scary as they think it to be!  All that we do in 2nd grade is find the number of "square units" (square tiles) that fit inside different shapes!  So again, we can use our inch tile manips, or even fun square Cheez-its!  :)

TODAY, we did a brand new activity that I picked up earlier this school year at Kim Sutton's "Critical Math Content" conference!  LOVE her and LOVE her ideas!  Even after many years of teaching, she still comes up with fabulous new things, and she's still SO enthusiastic about teaching! 

(As a side note, I've attended 2 Kim Sutton conferences and seen her at the CAMT convention last summer.  I will admit that she throws TONS of information at you in a few short hours, but she is a BRILLIANT teacher and really understands how to teach children math!!!  My goal for myself when I see her is to simply take away ONE thing that I can use in the classroom, and save the rest for later, because if not, I would probably hit stress over-load and fall over in convulsions!!!)

So anyways, here's a little look at our "Area Zoo"s!  In Kim's "Critical Math Content" book, she provides the masters to these fun and cute animals.  I gave each of my students 3 different animals.  The began by coloring and cutting them out.

Then, we glued them in our "zoo" and figured out the areas!

Finally, we HAD to add bars to their cages, or they'd escape!  (And we wouldn't want that, now would we?)

So cute! :)

In the very end, after everyone had finished and turned in, we came back to our meeting rug and took a look at MY colored animals.  Then, with tape on the back, we compared the animals on the board.  We ordered them from least area to greatest.  We also just compared 2 animals, with a circle in the middle for a greater than (>), less than (<), or equal to (=) sign!

And here's one last fun picture I just had to add in...there's not really a spot for it, but it's so crazy colored and silly, I couldn't resist.  It makes me smile (and if you knew the kiddo, it'd make you smile, too!) :)

***Also, don't forget about my "Totally, Terrific, Tinkerin' Giveaway!".  If you haven't already entered, stop by my post to see how you can win the 9 great prizes!!!  And be sure to hurry, because it ends Wednesday night!!!  I wouldn't want you to miss out!  Simply click the banner below to go to the post directly.

A BIG "THANK YOU" to everyone who has already entered!!!

Happy Entering! :)


  1. This is WAY cuter than the project I did for area (using color cubes to measure the area of different rectangles). I may have to revisit area to be able to reuse this before next year!
    A Turn to Learn

    1. Well I'll be the first to say that it was NOT my idea! (I just added the construction paper and "bars"! haha)

      I did LOVE the project today, and my class had so much fun! I was even thinking if we had time to extend, they could make their OWN animals out of inch squares...

      (Man, this is how my ideas start rolling and then before I know it, I'm goin' to town, "tinkering" on the computer!!)

      Thanks for the compliments! :)
      Have a great night!


  2. Jillian-

    Seeing your math units is making me miss teaching math. We had to specialize this year and now I teach reading, writing, and social studies only.

    1. I would honestly be so sad if I had to specialize! I will admit that there are times I wish I could just teach one thing, but I do love to teach all the subjects (and it's funny how the things I like to teach change up throughout the year!) Are you going to stay specialized next year, too??

      Thanks for reading and following! Hope you're having a great week! :)

  3. I loved the Area Zoo you had pictures of. I wasn't able to find the book you said it was in. Do you know if that is a book that is available for purchase?

    1. I don't think its available for purchase. (Bummer, I know!) I got it as my teacher copy from the Critical Math Content Workshop.

      I have had MANY teachers contact me, though, and ask about it. I sent an email to Creative Mathematics to see if there was another book it happened to be in (for purchase) or if there could be a digital file for it (since it has been so popular!) I will let you know as soon as I hear something back.

      Thanks for reading,

  4. Hi All! Be sure to read my "Gracious Kim Sutton!" post (from Monday, April 23) to find out about how to get these downloads! :)