Mathematical Monday {Writing in Math with Area & Perimeter}

Yeah!  We have moved on from division!  I enjoyed teaching division because of all the new strategies I used this year, but after a month of it I was ready to move on and so were my kids.  We have moved onto area and perimeter.  It was brought to my attention the other day that this is the first time I have taught this skill in three years!  Last year I threw my back out during this skill and the year before I just had my youngest son.

Last Tuesday I posted about our PD, I actually learned some new techniques I couldn't wait to try in my classroom.  I shared the Cube Creator and today I am going to share Probable Passages.  Our district, along with Common Core, is pushing for writing across the curriculum.  

A Probable Passage is used for Preview & Review purposes.  I wrote our vocabulary terms for this unit on the board (area, perimeter, addition, multiplication, length, and width), without going over the words I asked students to write about how these words were related.  I wanted to see what knowledge they already had on this topic.  I was able to QUICKLY see where everyone was on this skill.

 I could quickly tell that this student related the terms to measurement, knew how to find the area of a rectangle.

 Again, I was able to tell with this student that they were able to recall how to find area and perimeter.

This student knew the definition of each of the terms.  I had one student write down, "when you measure tiles on the floor".  I was able to quickly determine he didn't remember the vocabulary from last year, just part of an activity our third grade team does with the students.

After the students shared their writing with their teammates we discussed how the words were related.  I modeled for them how I would of answered the question to model technical writing.  At the end of our area and perimeter unit I am going to have them complete the same writing task to determine if they made any growth in their knowledge of this skill, and writing in math.

For the next part of my lesson I put our districts Meaningful Math Task on the board for students to investigate.  I provided them one minute to think about the problem on their own, then we discussed what information was given and what information was needed to solve the problem.  I then provided each team with unifix cubes and let the work together to investigate and solve the problem.

This group used division to help solve the problem and then the cubes to visually determine if their solution was probable.

This little guy decided to draw his cubes to solve the problem.

This group and I had a great discussion about checking our work.  The problem stated the perimeter was 56, the length and width they came up with was over that measurement.  We also discussed how they were going to fix their shape once they determined how many units they were over.

I had another great discussion with this group.  When I walked  by they had written down 30 and 26.  They determined this was the length and the width.  I asked them to draw their rectangular shape with their measurement and check their work.  Once they determined their perimeter was doubled, we discussed why and reviewed that 26 was the total for two sides of the rectangle, as well as 30.  They were able to fix their mistake quickly.

Once all teams had a solution we discussed their answers, how they discovered their answers, and how all the rectangular shapes had different lengths and widths and the same perimeter.

 I really liked the rigor with this task, because this is similar to the types of questions our students will answer on the End of Grade test.  I created a Multi-step Area and Perimeter pack that we are going to use this week.  I am actually going to use it during my observation Tuesday, so I am not sure I will be able to snap some pictures.  I created three Math Investigations, 20 task cards, and a worksheet for students to complete.  It is available in my TpT store if you are interested, or you can Pin It To Win It!


1. Pin the Area & Perimeter Pack image above on Pinterest.
2. Leave a comment with your email and the URL after you have pinned the image in your comment.

I will choose a winner using a random number generator and announce the winner next Monday, February 3rd. Good Luck and thanks for entering!

Don't forget to "Follow The Trail" to enter a chance to win 14 products and a $25 TpT gift card!


  1. Since we are year round we have already completed Area and Perimeter, but this would be an excellent review when we're getting close to the EOG's!
    My email is:

    Thank you!
    Nicole Smelcer

  2. Hi Jess! It's great to see you give your intermediate students an opportunity to work with manipulatives! When we have morning meeting, I have my students sit at "perimeter spots," so hopefully they will remember the word when they get to 4th grade!

    Not very fancy

  3. I love this activity! I think we might try it after we are done with division. :) It would be a great way to have them write in math, too. Thanks. Here's my pin: and my email is jenny.glinka

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I love this packet! I am finishing up perimeter and starting area this week. (If the weather allows us to go back to school!)
    Miss King's Enchanted Kingdom

    We are working on this now! I would love to win.

  7. We haven't done area and perimeter yet, so this would be a fantastic addition to our activities. Thanks for the opportunity.

  8. I love this, super cute! My 5th graders could definitely use something to make math lose the "mental abuse to humans" acronym they've given it. :)


  9. Pinned!

    A Teaspoon of Teaching

  10. What a great post! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Excited!

  12. This looks fun!

    Rosie's Rambles

  13. This looks great!


    I need to come back for the Mathematical Monday and steal some wonderful ideas!! : )

  15. This looks really good!

  16. Love this! Hope I win!

  17. I love integrating writing into math…this is great!

  18. Although I have younger students, we also try to learn area and perimeter. Emphasis on the word 'try' because some students always mix them up! Hopefully no more, if I win this packet!

    Pinned here

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  19. We are working on fractions right now, but our next unit is area and perimeter, so it would be perfect!

  20. Hope to win this unit...we begin our area and perimeter unit on Monday!!

  21. This looks great! I think I've missed the cutoff for the contest, but I've pinned it regardless!

    nferreira519 at gmail dot com


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