### Christmas Tree Forests...and protractors

A few days ago I shared with you what I was *going* to do at school in math in this post.  Well, I finally did it and it came out too cute not to share with you!

My students are learning about triangles, their characteristics, using a protractor to measure the angles, and how to find missing angle measurements when two are known.  So, combining ALL of that, we made these pretty pine tree scenes inspired by this blog post from this lovely blogger.

 You can see how the tissue is glued down
To make this was a two step process.  First, the students used a large piece of white paper (we used 17" x 11") and glued tissue paper squares down.  Using regular Elmer's glue and paint brushes, I first had them put a heavy painting of glue in the center of the paper.  They then put a square down and painted over that with glue.  The key to this is a lot of glue.  Every square inch of tissue paper MUST be covered or else when it all finally dries, there will be pieces of tissue flapping around and, well, it looks blah.

They then set that out to dry and using watercolors and crayons, created a nice snowy outdoors scene that will eventually house between 3-6 trees (I let them decide how many to make.)

The next day, the students cut out their trees.  I encouraged them to cut out triangles of all sizes.  They then went to work measuring the angles and describing them.  I asked them to not only measure each angle and record it on the sheet, but also to write down if it was acute-scalene, or any other combination (which meant that they needed to use the ruler on the protractor to measure the sides of the triangle)  Click here to get the recording sheet we used.

 Using the protractor to measure the angles.  They did this BEFORE they glued the trees onto the background.
 Here is one final product.  You can see the scene drawn at the top as a sort of diagram to identify which tree belongs with which measurement.
 Here is another one that is *almost* complete.  Just need to color the diagram.
 Here is a close up of one of the recording sheets.
 You can see this isn't straight
Some of the students had a really rough time measuring the angles.  I, mean, it is one thing measuring computer printed triangles.  It is quite another measuring triangles you cut out yourself with school sized scissors.  Getting the lines perfectly straight was very tricky, which lead to some wonky readings on the protractor.  Knowing this, the students adjusted and actually were really clever in their problem solving.  I was really impressed with them taking this variable into account and not panicking.

Some students also realized that they didn't actually have to measure all three angles. Knowing two, they could figure out the third.  (I did have them go back and just double check it with the protractor for practice, but I was happy they were making the connection.)

Now, all of this will become a little bulletin board until right before we go on break.  Then, I am planning on taking it down and the scene will become the cover of the holiday card the students take home to their parents.  Win-win.

What fun, standards based projects do you have in store for the next few weeks?

1. Love this idea! Can't wait to try it next week.

2. Fantastic lesson idea Stephanie! Thanks for sharing - fabulous!

3. Thanks gals! They really came out great, and what was even better was that the focus for the students was truly on the math...and the added benefit of it being "fun" was just a perk for them.

Justwright...know that this did take a bit of time to do. It isn't "fast", so just make sure you plan for that.

4. I LOVE this. We don't teach geometry until after the New Year, but you've inspired me to think about creative ways to engage the kids when we get to it.

1. What about just making the trees with greens and blues? Then they just look like trees in a forest, not necessarily holiday trees, and it will still work in the winter. Or they could be roofs of a house, and then you can do quadrilaterals too to make the actual house part, so you have a city scene with two different shapes that you can use the protractor for. Just some immediate thoughts that came to my head. :)

5. Absolutely love this......even if we aren't working on triangles yet!
Thanks for sharing Steph!
~Lorraine

6. Cute! Will be sharing with the math teacher :)

Diane
Fifth in the Middle

7. LOVE this! We aren't doing triangles either but will have to squeeze this is:)
Love the blog makeover btw.....not sure how I missed this other than my life is nuts and I don't have enough time in a day!!

1. Thanks Tara! The design was done by our favorite Ladybug :)

8. This is just what I need! My last week of school I have many students leaving to go to Mexico so I don't want to start new math and wanted to review. This is such a fun and creative way to review triangles and using a protractor :)

1. Glad I could help! :)

9. Oh my goodness -- LOVE this!!! I usually don't do angles and triangles until April ... but guess what ... not this year!!! FABULOUS!!!

1. Thanks my dear! I am glad it could be of inspiration...since all of your stuff is so inspiring to me :)

10. Fantastic!!! Do you use Everyday Math too? We're right on track with each other right now! Thanks for sharing this!

I'm mostly tying in the holidays with reading and writing right now, but this would be ideal for our math. Thanks again!

1. We use Envision, but I am guessing most programs follow along the same path at times :)

11. Love it! I'm featuring this post on Bagels and Blogs tomorrow. :)

Donna
Math Coach’s Corner

12. Wow! What a fantastic lesson!! As always :)

13. I have always thought this over the years: I want to be in your class! I want to teach in your school. You always have such fun, creative lessons that directly tie to the curriculum!

Jennifer
http://teachingtoinspirein5th.blogspot.com

1. What an amazingly fabulous compliment! I really appreciate it :) I do try to make everything tie in to the curriculum at all times (there is a story about that from my first year of teaching that one day I will share with everyone...but it is always in the back of my mind and pushes me to integrate, integrate, integrate) Thanks again!

14. For me this is "serendipity". I am teaching ALL about triangles right now, not just in geometry but also in patterning and algebra. Come on over to my blog post and read about it. I will definitely use your great idea before the holidays, I love it!

15. Thanks for sharing - My 6/7s started this project today with the decoupage and tomorrow will be cutting and mesuring triangles! Great "last week" project!

16. We are working on this right now...I can't wait to try this next week! Thanks for sharing!

17. Great project! We are just finishing our 5th grade triangles unit. This project could not come at a better time! Thanks for sharing. Any chance you the worksheet available?

Thanks...great blog!

Chris

www.mrhnmrsoshangout.blogspot.com

18. Great project! We are just finishing our 5th grade triangles unit. This project could not come at a better time! Thanks for sharing. Any chance you the worksheet available?

Thanks...great blog!

Chris

www.mrhnmrsoshangout.blogspot.com

1. The recording sheet is linked in the post above!