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This list offers good places to begin looking for individual 3rd-5th grade lesson plans or materials on which to base them. For more sites, see our page of 3rd-5th grade lesson plan collections, browse all lesson plans, or search the Library.

Selected Sites

  1. Adventures in Statistics - Scavo, Petraroja
    A Web unit preprint of a paper by teachers Tom Scavo and Byron Petraroja that describes a mathematics project involving fifth grade students and the area of classrooms, including measurement, graphing, computation, data analysis, and presentation of results; to appear in "Teaching Children Mathematics". more>>

  2. Bricks Activity - Suzanne Alejandre
    A classroom activity (also called the Masonry Problem; a variation on polyominoes) aligned to the NCTM and California Standards, to be explored through manipulatives (dominoes). Students explore different possibilities of making brick walls with and without fault lines, using diagram, process, and solution in their problem solving. A teacher lesson plan is provided. more>>

  3. Fractals - Cynthia Lanius
    This lesson plan for exploring fractals is designed so 4th through 8th grade students can work independently and be assessed innovatively. It conforms to the 1989 NCTM standards, and provides links to other fractal sites. Contents: Why study fractals? Making fractals: Sierpinski Triangle, Sierpinski Meets Pascal, Jurassic Park Fractal, Koch Snowflake. Fractal Properties: Self-similarity, Fractional dimension, Formation by iteration. Teacher-to-Teacher notes; Fractals on the Web. more>>

  4. Locker Problem - Suzanne Alejandre
    A classroom activity (also called 1000 Lockers) aligned to the NCTM and California Standards, to be explored through the use of manipulatives and a ClarisWorks spreadsheet. Students then look for patterns and write the answer algebraically. The problem: imagine you are at a school that still has student lockers. There are 1000 lockers, all shut and unlocked, and 1000 students. Suppose the first student goes along the row and opens every other locker. The second student then goes along and shuts every other locker beginning with number 2. The third student changes the state of every third locker beginning with number 3. (If the locker is open the student shuts it, and if the locker is closed the student opens it.) The fourth student changes the state of every fourth locker beginning with number 4. Imagine that this continues until the thousand students have followed the pattern with the thousand lockers. At the end, which lockers will be open and which will be closed? Why? A teacher lesson plan is provided. more>>

  5. Magic Squares: Math, History, Geography - Suzanne Alejandre
    Designed primarily for middle school and older elementary school students, this Math Forum Web unit includes classroom activities for four different squares: Lo Shu, Sator, Dürer, and Franklin, three of them demonstrating increasing complexity using numbers, and one made up of letters, with number and symmetry questions and links and suggestions for history / geography / writing activities for teachers interested in interdisciplinary work. Includes directions for building magic squares, definitions, discussion of some special properties of magic squares, a Java applet, and links to other magic square Web sites. more>>

  6. Pascal's Triangle - Math Forum/USI
    A Web unit designed to support workshops given by the Math Forum for the Urban Systemic Initiative (Philadelphia and San Diego). Read about the history of Pascal's triangle and learn to construct it; view illustrations of number patterns to be discovered; carry out interactive investigations in JavaScript or the Geometer's Sketchpad, and explore this famous triangle through lesson plans that feature questions, answers, discussion, and student worksheets. more>>

  7. Tangrams - Tom Scavo
    Tangrams, a puzzle that helps develop spatial-visualization skills, may also be used to introduce or reinforce geometric concepts such as congruence, similarity, symmetry, etc. This unit for grades 4 through 6 uses tangrams to compute the area of polygons  without formulas, introducing the terms congruent and similar. Contents: Constructing Your Own Set of Tangrams; The Area of Tangram Pieces; More Tangram Activities. Links to other tangram resources on the Web are also provided. more>>

  8. Traffic Jam Activity - Suzanne Alejandre
    A classroom activity (also called Hop, Skip, Jump) aligned to the NCTM and California Standards, to be explored through large movement experience, manipulatives, and an interactive Java applet. Students then revisit the activity, look for patterns, and write the answer algebraically. The activity: there are seven stepping stones and six people. On the three lefthand stones, facing the center, stand three of the people. The other three people stand on the three righthand stones, also facing the center. The center stone is not occupied. Everyone must move so that the people originally standing on the righthand stepping stones are on the lefthand stones, and those originally standing on the lefthand stepping stones are on the righthand stones, with the center stone again unoccupied. A teacher lesson plan is provided. more>>


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