Sunday, July 7, 2013

Octahedron Summary Activity

One of my favorite summary activities this year was creating a octahedron with students throughout our 3-dimensional measurement unit (CMP Covering and Surrounding).  A year ago I found this pin on Pinterest.
When I saw this picture I visualized each face having an important vocabulary word or idea.  Since I am not big on students memorizing formulas I thought I could use the summary questions to help students explain HOW to find volume and surface area of 3-d figures in words.  
I posted the questions on the board at the end of each investigation. 

 Students were given two paper plates and wrote their explanations on the triangle formed by folding the edges.  I made sure they all wrote on the side with edges facing up so we could easily staple the flaps together.  I am sure you could do it on the other side but I didn't want to spend too much time figuring out how to get the staples to all be on the inside. 

As went discovered new ideas our octahedron started to form.  I only did 4 out of the 5 investigations so it ended up working out perfectly to have 2 questions per investigation. 
Activity tip: allow students to color their triangles (at least the edges).  I kept ALL of the octahedrons in the back of my room and it became really difficult to find names quickly when they were all plain white.  

I allowed students to use their octahedron on the test as a "cheat sheet".  Unfortunately many students didn't really think about the benefit of having complete and correct answers on each triangle until the day before the test. 

This was a great activity with the students and most students were engaged throughout the process.  In the future I would like to possibly hang them from the ceiling after the test!