The purpose of the task is for students to solve a multi-step multiplication problem in a context that involves area. In addition, the numbers were chosen to determine if students have a common misconception related to multiplication.
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This task challenges students to find the area of different sections of a garden and the entire garden. With missing lengths and widths, the students are challenged to apply computation skills to finding missing measurements.
This is a rectangle subdivision task; ideally instead of counting each square. students should break the letters into rectangles, multiply to find the areas, and add up the areas. However, students should not be discouraged from using individual counting to start if they are stuck. Often students will get tired of counting and devise the shortcut method themselves.
Students create four-legged walking robots and measure how far they travel across different types of surfaces. They design and create "shoes" to add to the robots' feet and observe the effect of their modifications on the net distance traveled across the various surface types. This activity illustrates how the specialized locomotive features of different species help them to survive or thrive in their habitat environments. The activity is best as an enrichment tool that follows a lesson that introduces the concept of biological adaptation to students.
This flawed reasoning task addresses misconceptions with determining area.