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Grade 6: Polygons, Prisms and Pyramids

In math class with Mrs. Jolene Collier, sixth-graders finished a geometry unit to understand the formulas of two-dimensional shapes. 
In a lesson called “Greener Pastures,” they discussed images of livestock in very tight living conditions before designing animal-friendly enclosures that offer the animals maximum living space. Small groups were assigned different animals with unique requirements (some more difficult than others) to differentiate the assignment. Using formulas to determine the area and perimeter of polygons, as well as area and circumference of circles, they completed a writeup within their group to explain their solution and show their mathematical thinking along with providing a diagram of their enclosure.
 
To follow, they studied three-dimensional shapes like prisms and pyramids and learned how to calculate surface area (the measurement outside the shape) and volume (the measurement inside the shape). Ilsa Borgen gave an example: “A cake pan is the surface area; cake mix is the volume.”
 
Mrs. Collier empowered her students by reminding them that they already know how to determine the area of triangles, rectangles, and circles. She then demonstrated how a 3D shape can be “unfolded” into connected 2D shapes. An unfolded 3D shape is called a net and can be used to calculate surface area.
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.