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Practical ideas for finding the area of compound shapes?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Harriet_20, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone!

    I just wanted to know if anyone has any tried and tested methods for teaching the area of compound shapes that are practical? I am teaching a low ability y5 group and have been given some Geo-Boards(?) to use. For this group, they are struggling a little with the concept of how to find the missing side, not fully understanding that if it were a rectangle the opposite sides would be the same length and all they have to do is find the difference.

    Hope that makes sense?!

    Any ideas fully appreciated!
  2. As a caveat before my post proper, I'm an LSA in Y3, starting my PGCE next year. So take everything I say with a generous helping of salt ^_^
    Anyway, have you thought about using tangrams? Letting them build up some complex "pictures" out of simpler shapes themselves might be a good way of helping them understand how they can use the same process backwards.
    Once they've got that, you could give them a template tangram, and the shapes to build it, letting them figure out how the shapes can fit a preexisting "picture". Then start introducing the numerical element.
    (When any more experienced teachers pop into the thread, I'd appreciate a little feedback, if I may be so bold).

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