Using paper or index cards that are the same size, a ruler, a calculator, tape, the attached chart, and their book, students in Ms. Tomkiel's Form I class rose to the challenge of creating and comparing different prisms with regards to the surface area and volume.
Tomkiel struck an expert balance of allowing students to take the time to cut, tap, measure and calculate and work through the process while meeting each participant where they were in their understanding. This process involved considering what the paper would look like as a flat pattern, finding the base measurement and estimating the area and the height. While it varied based on what materials the students used (paper versus index cards), the concept was consistent.
Students had to complete a table, noting the prism type, area of the sides, area of the top and bottom and based on these things calculate the total surface area. Next, they constructed a triangular prism as a group to use as a template, then broke out into separate breakout rooms to work as teams to apply the same methodology to a square, pentagon, hexagon, and octagon.
They were tasked with taking it a step further and consider questions such as: How do the surface areas of the five prisms compare as the number of faces in the prism increases and how do the volumes of the five prisms compare as the number of faces in the prism increases?
One thing was clear: building prisms inprism-ed (we had to!) Ms. Tomkiel didn't miss a beat, or square, or triangle....and neither did her students.
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.