Monday 28 January 2013 Dear Parents, The Grade 4 students are set to begin an exciting mathematical design project aimed at developing their understanding of geometry, measurement and whole number concepts. Each child will take on the role of an architect as they design and construct a building for our town. They will work through the design process, from initial drawings to the publication of their creations on their websites. All students will be expected to draw a 2D plan using grid paper that will allow them to calculate the perimeter of their building as well as the area of the different rooms. Students will then have a choice of how they will construct a model of their design. As we are developing an understanding of scale representation, we have limited the choices to tools that support building with square materials. A very popular and engaging virtual space called Minecraft will be one of the options for construction. This tool was selected because of the square cube building blocks and the three-dimensional quality of the space. It allows for innovative creation as students are supported in their developing understanding of area and volume. During the construction process, students will be using a school paid Minecraft account to login to a school-managed server space. The server space will be open during school hours for students to build their structure. Please note that students are not expected to work on Minecraft at home. For students who prefer a more concrete and hands-on experience, we will provide multi-link cubes and other materials that will allow them to construct a 3D object from their design. This is a grade level project that will enable teachers to effectively differentiate for students. There will be workshop style ‘mini-lessons’ for skills, conceptual understandings, problem solving, tools and time management before students begin the design and building stages. Once students are working on their projects, teachers will facilitate the learning, acting as mentors and working with small, flexible groups of students based on need. The learning intentions from our curriculum are as follows: • Understand the use of standard units to measure perimeter, area and volume • Estimate and measure using standard units of measurement:
• • • • • • •
perimeter, area and volume Select appropriate tools and units of measurement Use standard units of measurement to solve real-life situations involving perimeter, area and volume Understand that 2D representations of 3D objects can be used to visualize and solve problems Understand how scale is used to enlarge and reduce shapes Use whole numbers up to thousands and beyond in real life situations Select efficient method for solving a problem, for example mental estimation, mental of written strategies, or using a calculator Use strategies to estimate the reasonableness of answers
Please visit the class blog for more detailed information about this project. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Jennifer Fenton, Grade 4 team leader
This is the letter that was sent to parents to accompany the Grade 4 design project in math.