Simple Tools To Learn Important Math Concepts

Pictured is student Lauren Alaniz working with Comal ISD paraprofessional Rachel Pelton.

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Jan. 5, 2017— Students in teacher Kim Slater’s fifth-grade math class at Johnson Ranch Elementary School class are using square tiles for a lesson on perimeter and area.

“In this example, Lauren knew she had to get three inches of tile in length by three inches of tile in width,” Slater said. “After she got the tile set up, she was able to visually calculate both the area and the perimeter.” Slater said when possible she likes to add hands-on materials to her instruction.  “Students respond better to hands-on lessons rather than just throwing numbers at them,” she said. “This way it’s also easier to teach students how this is relevant in real-life situations, like building a home, laying its foundation and carpet, and building a fence. We can do all of this by starting with simple tiles.” Alaniz said she enjoys the challenges of her math class. “I like solving problems,” Alaniz said. “Using numbers and shapes really challenges you to use your mind.” Slater said her students would soon build on this lesson to learn about volume.