Q&A #19148

Measuring the area of circles

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 11, 2007 at 14:44:58
Subject: Re: Measuring the area of circles

Hi Becky,

Thank you for writing to T2T. It might help to draw some figures on graph
paper -- a rectangle, a square, a triangle, a circle, etc.  Point out that
area is a measure of "cover" -- how much of something it takes to completely
cover a shape. If we were to cover a shape with, say, something like pennies,
there would be several "gaps" where the shape wasn't covered. We usually use
"square units" because they completely cover a shape, so even though the
shape itself isn't rectangular or square (e.g. a triangle or circle), the
"square units" still cover it completely. We use "standard units" (such as
square inches or square centimeters) so that anyone who measures the area of
the shape will get the same answer.

Hope this helps,

 -Ralph, for the T2T service

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