Fifth graders have begun exploring volume. They started by building boxes from paper outlines and filling them with cubes to see how many cubes the figures would hold. From this, many of them were able to develop the volume formulas, either length x width x height or the area of the base x the height. It also helped them realize why volume is measured in cubic units.
Today, we did some more investigating about a brick factory. If a brick factory is designing boxes to hold 24 bricks, what are all the possible designs they can make? Here, instead of finding the volume, the students were given the volume of 24 and are looking for ways to decompose the 24 into three dimensions. Interesting conversations are coming up, such as, “If I turn the box, is it a different design?” Also, I am happy to see that many students started by thinking about the factors of 24 since they realize factors play a huge role in the dimensions that will work.
Here are a few pictures of them at work.
Next week, we will be continuing to investigate various aspects of volume. Stay tuned!