Area Two

A Maths Starter of The Day

Area Two

How many different shapes with an area of 2 square units can you make by joining dots on this grid with straight lines?

Teacher: Click on the dots above to show joining lines.

A printable sheet for student use is available here.

A Flash version of the grid is here.


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Topics: Starter | Area | Geometry | Mensuration | Problem Solving | Shape

  • Carol, Sheffield PArk Academy
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  • 3 NQTs in the department, I'm new subject leader in this new academy - Starters R Great!! Lovely resource for stimulating learning and getting eveyone off to a good start. Thank you!!
  • Mark, New Zealand
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  • I used this for a struggling class of 13 year olds and it worked really well. From simple triangles of area 2 we used it to show that obtuse triangles can be made too: the grid makes working out areas so easy.

    Next time I will give them a sheet to record their findings though.
  • Matt, Seb and David, Chatham Grammar School for Boys
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  • We reckon there are at least 25!
  • Miss Reakes, West Island School, HK
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  • This is a great starter for a mixed ability class due to it's open ended posibilities. The brighter ones using fractions other than a half didn't want to stop! I gave dotted paper to the weaker ones to start them off immediately.
  • C J Southward, Limehouse School Cumbria
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  • My year 9s scored way over 45 including trapeziums and long triangles.
  • William Hulme Grammar Academy, Year 8 Set 1
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  • We got 18 different shapes but when you rotate and manipulate these base shapes we had over 50. But we only 10 minutes on it as a starter.
  • M Mc Crea, Holy Cross College
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  • My students took a while to grasp the complete concept but then some of the Girls especially warmed to the task and after a gentle nudge, found over 140, with rotations and all the different shapes already mentioned by the other teachers here.
  • Mr Bentley, Braeview Primary, Happy Valley, Australia
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  • We found 26 different shapes that totalled over 300. We stuck to regular shapes to make it easier. Five of my mathematicians stuck with this for nearly an hour.
  • Mike, New Jersey, USA
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  • I suspect that there are thousands (not counting reflections/rotations)
    for example (0,0)(2,1)(1,2)(3,1)(5,2)(4,1)(0,0), and all those points can be slid individually horizontally, making tons of permutations.

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
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This starter has scored a mean of 3.4 out of 5 based on 213 votes.


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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.

Transum.org/go/?Start=September10

Here is the URL which will take them to a similar open ended activity.

Transum.org/go/?to=PinBoard

Student Activity




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