Posted in Activities, Area, Geometry, Surface Area, Trig, Volume

Go Fly A Kite

My colleague and friend, Danyelle, has done this kite construction project for a number of years during summer school. She first saw it at a conference many years ago. We decided to try it last year during the school year and then the pandemic closed school and we didn’t get to do it. When the time came to complete the project this year, we realized all of the information Danyelle had for the project was destroyed in our black mold fiasco. We did a Google search for tetrahedral kites and realized there are many resources for similar projects out there. I’m sharing what we came up with, but you can do your own Google search and find many additional resources too.

For this project, students build a tetrahedral kite, reflecting on surface are and volume as they create it. We also added some Trig in at the end measuring the height of the kite using our clinometers. I found another resource that did the same thing. Great minds!

The day we flew our kites was super crazy windy. Some of our kites didn’t hold up as well as we would have liked and only a few were able to stay in the air. The kids had a lot of fun and we had some great discussions about kite construction and the best place to tie the string. All productive conversation with critical thinking.

Here are the resources we compiled from memory and from resources we found.

Directions to make the kite

Reflection Document (This is adapted from a page I found online. Of course, I can’t find it now to link it. If I find it, I’ll give credit. SORRY!)

Don’t forget to do a Google search for Geometric Kite or Tetrahedral Kite to find many other resources. This was a lot of fun and we need fun with the year we’ve had!


Posted in App creation, Application, Area, Exit Ticket, Geometry, Surface Area, Volume

Surface Area and Volume – all the goods

As promised, here is a compilation of all my area, surface are and volume projects and activities.

Online Calculator

Exit Tickets


Surface Area

Volume & Spheres

Since I’m teacher a much lower group this year, I wanted application problems for them but with a little less challenge so they could be successful. Here are the two I have created for them so far. Working with a partner, they have been able to use the calculator and find the answers.

Surface Area of Prisms and Cylinders


Surface Area of Pyramids and Cones


There it is. Hopefully this will help you create a fun and applicable learning experience for you students.

Posted in Area, Surface Area, Volume

Area, Surface Area, and Volume Exit Tickets

I love this unit because it is so applicable. I have shared many ideas to use during this unit and next week I will combine everything together in one post so it’s easier to access. This post will focus on my exit tickets.

I’ve taught surface area and volume using the formula for all of my teaching career. Last year, I decided I wanted students to look up the formulas like they would in real life. I still think it’s a great skill but it took way too much time to find a calculator that worked. I decided to just make my own. Does it take away from the life skill of searching for one? Yes! Does it make my class flow better but still gives them the opportunity to utilize a calculator? Yes! So for these exit tickets, I’ve designed them to be used with my surface are and volume calcuator.

This unit is also long, so there are many exit tickets.

You can search my blog for the many activities I have created for surface area and volume or you can check back next week for my compilation post.


Posted in Activities, Application, Area, Geometry

Application for Area

In Geometry, we teach area as a quick review before surface area and volume. This year, I wanted this topic to be more of a life skill than just a review. I taught students how to use Google cards to find the area of common shapes. A quick search will pull up the following card for almost any shape.

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 8.30.13 PM

The more important skill I wanted to help my students with was using area. In life, if we can find the information we need and know how to use it, we can solve almost any problem we have. I created some tasks, some based on actual activities I’ve done, to help them use area. I’m sharing them here so you can use them too. Teachers have limited time and sometimes finding a good activity that you don’t have to create is just what you need.

If you use these activities, please share with me on Twitter. It makes my day when someone finds value in what I’ve created. Happy mathing!

Click on the image to view the template.

Remodel a Bathroom      area application

Toblerone Repackage    Packaging Cookies.png

Stay tuned for surface area and volume application.

Posted in Activities, App creation, Area, Geometry, Google Slides

Area App with Google Slides

I love when you create a project that students are excited about! This project fits that description. We review area formulas in Geometry before we start surface area. I DID NOT WANT another “look up the formula” day. It’s boring! And, if I don’t like it, students won’t either. Then I stumbled across this post by @micahshippee on Kasey Bell’s website I have the privilege of knowing both of these wonderful people. Micah is part of my Google Innovator Cohort and he is amazing.  And ya’ll know Kasey. If you don’t know them, look them up, RIGHT NOW. You’ve been missing out.

Micah created an activity where student use Google Slides to create an “app” that you can load on your phone or tablet. I decided to use this wonderful idea to review area formulas. My students created an app where you could click a button and find the formula and an example for each shape.

Bonuses: Students were VERY ENGAGED. They were still working when the bell rang and didn’t really want to stop. They were helping each other, critiquing without being prompted, and giving great advice. I was MORE THAN excited when students came into class the day the assignment was due with the app already loaded on their phone. They were soooo proud!  I think, as an extension of this activity, we will share our apps with lower grade levels, who are learning about area for the first time, and have them give us feedback through Flipgrid.

Here is the activity I gave the students. My instructions are taken directly from Micah’s post because they are so thorough. He is cited in the activity.

Create an App for AREA (1)

I’ve also included some of the apps created by my students. OMGee, they make my heart happy. You should be able to click on the phone below and it will open a Google Drawing file where the links are active. If you use this activity, please share on Twitter and tag me @MandiTolenEDU and @micahshippee.