Sunday, April 14, 2013

Math Mentor Text for Perimeter {Linky}

I am so excited to be sharing a math mentor text with you today!  I LOVE math and I LOVE using literature in math, and my students do, too!

I had actually forgotten how many books I had to teach math until I decided to pull them out a few weeks ago and then I felt sad because I had missed so many opportunities to use literature just because I had forgotten I had the books!

So, this linky will help me remember!!  Yay!

Today I want to share this book with you:
I recently used this book to review perimeter with my class.  When I taught 3rd grade, I used this book to introduce it.  It still works in 4th grade, and lends itself to critical thinking.  Plus, it's fun!

A very basic summary is this:  Mr. and Mrs. Comfort decide to have a family reunion and serve spaghetti and meatballs.  Mrs. Comfort rents enough tables and chairs for everyone to have a seat, but as more family members arrive, they start pushing the tables together so they can all sit together.  Mrs. Comfort tries to tell them that they will not have enough space for everyone to sit, but no one listens.  The story circles back and they end up with the same seating arrangement as they started with.

This book is great for talking about perimeter, but also helps with spatial awareness because students can see that when you push the tables together, you are actually losing seating.

To use this book, I pulled out the color tiles, which represented tables.  They used their desks and used dry erase markers to mark in the "chairs" which also helped us count our perimeter.

When we did this activity last week, I took some pictures!

They start out with just the right number for all 32 people attending.

Then, they start pushing tables together, which changes the overall total of the perimeter.  As the story goes through, Mrs. Comfort gets more and more upset at all the movement, and the kids catch on pretty quick that this is going to be a disaster!!  Every time a new car pulls up with more people, and they have to rearrange the "tables", the kids groan!  It's awesome!

The first arrivals come and want to push tables together.  Here we go!!

We finally get to the point where all of the tables are pushed together.  At this point, I have told them how to push the tables together each time.  

Now we take the tables apart.  Now, I change the lesson.  I am no longer going to tell them how to separate the tables to get the right perimeter.  For the next picture, they needed to seat 18.  So when the car pulled up and they needed to add 2 chairs, I told them they needed a total perimeter of 18 and that was it.  They could do any design they wanted.

And we just kept going until we ended up with the same design that we started with.

After this design, eight more people come (Mrs. Comfort's sister and husband along with their triplet girls and the triplet's boyfriends who are also triplets- this one always puts the class in an uproar!!).  So, everything goes back to the way it started!  I guess I didn't get that picture!

They really loved trying to figure out each one, and they wanted their's to be different from everyone else's.  All it took was for me to walk around and say, "Ooh, I haven't seen that design yet!" and then they were all clamoring to do a different design.  Some students made every design possible, just for FUN!

This was just a really great way to review perimeter, since they learned it last year, and since I'm feeling rushed since the state test is coming up, I could do something fun, but see what they already knew before I jump head strong in.  Based on this lesson, I think they all remember it!  Yay!!!!

(If you have never linked up before you can check HERE for more information.)

I CAN'T WAIT to see what Must Read Math Mentor Texts you link up!  I'm super excited!!!!

Please make yourself a SANDWICH!  What do I mean?  I mean please comment on the person who linked up before you and the person that linked up after you.  I know everyone puts in a lot of time and effort to these posts and I want everyone to feel the love!!!  (Haha, see, you're a know...because you are in the middle of the you get it?)  ;O)

Next week's topic is Science!!  I can't wait to see what you link up!


  1. This perimeter activity looks great - so visual! I think even our first grade kiddos could get the idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  2. Ladies~ I'm so glad that Gina told me about these linkies for Mentor Text! I know I'm going to find a TON of new boooks to use!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  3. I love this book and activity! I will be doing this week after next (right before testing) to review! Pinning ;)
    Fun in Room 4B

  4. I totally forgot about this book! I could have used it last week. I'm loving this linky, so glad I was able to link up this week!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  5. I love Marilyn Burns - her books are so fun to use. This is a great activity, I am so glad that you shared it. I will be "borrowing it" this week! My class loves writing on their desk with wipe-off markers - it makes math so fun!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  6. Fabulous - I MUST get this book!! Plus you're using white board markers! My class will love it!!


  7. I love perimeter activities like this! It also goes along with the type of questions that would be on "THE test". The only problem with your awesome linky is the realization that I want to use this book and I don't have it. I can try the library this year but it is so much better when I have it right in my room:) Added to the "buy" list!! Thank you...I think:) haha!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  8. What an awesome book!!! I think adults would love to do this as well! Ha!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Koonce’s Korner

  9. Oh my- I had forgotten about that Marilyn Burns activity for perimeter! Thanks for reminding me- I am not familiar with the text you listed but will look for it. I enjoyed the link up last week and know this one will also give me some great ideas. Thanks!


  10. I love that book! It's such a great idea to use the tiles to have the students use manipulatives to follow the story!


  11. I've never heard of this book before. Looks like a fun activity though. I just realized that college students can get Amazon Prime free for 6 months, so since I am working on my Master's I signed back up and can get all these great books at my doorstep instantly lol!

    Literacy Spark

  12. This is a great hands-on activity! I love that every student can be involved. I also saw a SmartBoard activity on Smart Exchange that lets you manipulate the tables and chairs but your idea would help every learner be engaged. Thanks so much!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  13. What a wonderful activity!! Thank you for sharing this, I will have to try this very soon! :)

  14. Sounds like a really fun activity! I am going to go put that book into my cart right now!
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

  15. What an awesome lesson! My students will benefit from this hands-on lesson and being able to visually see what is happening. I must find this book! Thanks for sharing your fabulous lesson.

    Foreman Teaches

  16. I pinned this post for reference for next year! Great lesson and so are those who linked up!


  17. I think I have this book which means I get to do this fabulous activity! Yay! Thanks for sharing and hosting!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  18. Thanks for hosting this linky. Lots of great titles and ideas.
    I'm a new follower

    School Is a Happy Place

  19. This looks like so much fun! I used to love teaching perimeter and would have enjoyed using this text...

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers


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