Alternative Methods for Understanding Area Formulas

Candide Walton, Tamela Randolph


Area is an essential concept in the K–12 mathematics curriculum. Research suggests that many students and preservice teachers do not have a conceptual understanding of area measurement. Typically, these students have only been taught a procedural method of substituting values into formulas in order to calculate area. As a result, they have not been given the opportunity to develop the concept of area, which is necessary in order to understand more advanced concepts such as surface area and volume. This article presents methods for creating activities to promote conceptual understanding of area measurement in mathematics classrooms and in university classrooms for preservice teachers.


area; measurement; conceptual understanding; activities; mathematics education; pre-service teachers

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