Our first day was focused on exploring cubic volume with cubes. It was such a great opportunity to watch them struggle through the challenge sheets and learn from one another with no pressure of assessment.
They had a great time exploring with cubes. I also frequently allow them to work on the floor and move around. They're ten and need to wiggle sometimes. I might as well embrace this and provide these opportunities in the classroom.
They had a specific task sheet (for accountability). I gave them ten minutes to explore, then they shared with a partner (Kagan hand up, stand up, pair up, and share).
One group was super excited that their blocks were ASU colored!
After a day of exploration, we dived into strategies, formulas, and problem solving. We spent a few days on regular shapes before diving into the irregular ones. I posed the problem as a challenge and let them struggle as a team. Most groups figured out that they could find the volumes separately, then add them together.
They had so much fun exploring volume. Instead of just giving them the formula, I felt it was more important for them to have hands-on practice exploring exactly what volume means.
Who says math can't be fun?