Volume and surface area are some of the most difficult concepts for my students to understand in 7th grade. I feel like they get the two confused and they need to really understand what each entails. I like to make sure that students have a pretty good understanding of volume before we move on to surface area. Each year I have probably tried something a little different though. One of the best ways to build their foundation is through a discovery activity. A lot of students don’t come into our class with enough background knowledge, and leading them through the discovery process works great as way to build that background. In this post I’ll explain more about the discovery activity I use for this topic, and twelve more engaging activities to help students really get a solid foundation with finding the volume of pyramids and prisms. [Read more…] about 13 Rockin’ Volume of Pyramids and Prisms Activities
All last week we had Pi on the brain as we learned the formula for calculating the volume of 3D shapes with circles. We got to see Pi in action! In preparing for the week, I really thought about how to help students 1) understand the relationship between the formulas for cones, spheres, and cylinders 2) get really clear on the vocabulary and individual components of the three formulas.
First, I did a Volume of Cylinders, Cones, and Spheres Discovery Lab with students. As I’ve written about before, I really enjoy these Discovery Labs, or guided inquiry lessons, to get students thinking about the concept and making connections and observations before jumping in to the formal instruction- it really just helps students get a deeper understanding of what it is we’re studying. We started by looking at the formulas to find the volume of spheres, cones, and cylinders. I wanted them to really understand what the formulas themselves contained before using them. Students were asked to look at the individual components of each formula, and make observations about the relationship between the three formulas: [Read more…] about Exploring the Volume of Cylinders, Cones & Spheres