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National 5 Numeracy: Using Formulae

Learning Objectives

 Calculate volume (cylinder, triangular prism), area (triangles and composite shapes) and perimeter
(circumference)
 Interpret results of measurements involving time, length, weight, volume and temperature
 Recognise the inter-relationship between units in the different families
 Use vocabulary associated with measurement to make comparisons for length, weight, volume and
temperature

Previous learning

Third Level Benchmarks

Algebra
 Evaluates expressions involving two variables using both positive and negative numbers.
 Solves linear equations, for example, ax ± b = c where a, b and c are integers.
 Creates a simple linear formula representing information contained in a diagram, problem or statement.
 Evaluates a simple formula, for example, C = 0.05m + 75.

Perimeter, Area, Volume


 Chooses appropriate units for length, area and volume when solving practical problems.
 Converts between standard units to three decimal places and applies this when solving calculations of length,
capacity, volume and area.
 Calculates the area of a 2D shape where the units are inconsistent.
 Finds the area of compound 2D shapes constructed from squares, rectangles and triangles.
 Finds the volume of compound 3D objects constructed from cubes and cuboids.

Fourth Level Benchmarks

Algebra
 Determines a general formula for the nth term to describe a sequence and uses it to solve related problems,
linear examples only.
 Solves problems by expressing the given information appropriately as an equation, in-equation or formula.

Perimeter, Area, Volume


 Demonstrates understanding of the impact of truncation and premature rounding.
 Calculates the area of kites, parallelograms and trapeziums.
 Uses formulae and calculates the surface area of cylinders, cuboids and triangular prisms.
 Calculates the volume of triangular prisms and cylinders using formulae.
 Uses the formula or to calculate the circumference of a circle. C= πD or C = 2πr
 Uses the formula to calculate the area of a circle. A =πr2
 Calculates diameter and radius of a circle when given the area or circumference.
National 4

Algebra

 Evaluating an expression or a formulae which has more than one variable


 Extending a straightforward number or diagrammatic pattern and determining its formula
 Calculate rate: e.g. miles per hour or number of texts per month
 Solving linear equations

Perimeter, Area, Volume

 Calculating the circumference and area of a circle


 Calculating the area of a parallelogram, kite, trapezium
 Investigating the surface of a prism
 Calculating the volume of a prism
 Calculate volume (cube and cuboid), area (rectangle and square) and perimeter (shapes with straight lines)
 use appropriate checking methods, eg check sums and estimation
 Interpret results of measurements involving time, length, weight, volume and temperature
 Recognise the inter-relationship between units in the same family, e.g. mm↔cm, cm↔m, g↔kg, and
ml↔l
 Use vocabulary associated with measurement to make comparisons for length, weight, volume and
temperature

General Guidance

The application of these skills is fundamentally underpinned by a concrete understanding of algebra. Learners need
to be secure in constructing equations and substituting values into expressions to evaluate unknowns. This will be
vitally important when learners are expected to work backwards to identify missing lengths of sides. Learners should
have developed these skills in Level 4/National 4 and should confidently be able to change the subject of the formula.

Learners will often omit units or use incorrect units. Particular care should be paid to the units that the learners use
and ensure that they are confident in converting between units of measure.

Learners will often forget formulae and don’t usually understand where the formulas have been derived, if we
improve the learners’ ability to understand where formulas are derived from, this should improve their ability to
recall and apply formulae.

Throughout this topic learners should be presented with questions both in calculator and non-calculator contexts.

Finding out what learners really know

The following questions could be used to diagnose where learners are with their learning or identify common
misconceptions.

A square has an area of 225 cm2. What is its perimeter?


Calculate the shaded area.
Learning Experiences - Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract Models

Areas and Perimeters

Learners should have the ability to evaluate the area of triangles, circles and quadrilaterals. They may encounter
challenge when evaluating the areas of compound shapes. Within these questions it is important to highlight that
there are different methods for dissecting the shapes. These should be explored so that learners will be equipped
with numerous strategies for evaluating compound areas. They should be aware that for some shapes it may be
easier to split it into compound shapes rather than trying to recall a formula i.e. trapeziums. The following questions
can be used to promote discussion and identify common misconceptions.

Find the area of the shape below

Some Possible Solutions

(a)
(b)

Solutions should be discussed and learners should be aware that they need to use the correct units as an omission of
units or incorrect ones could lead to losing marks. Furthermore, within real life contexts learners should be aware
that there are huge implications of using incorrect units i.e. construction.

Learners should be encouraged to apply their Pythagoras and/or trigonometry skills within these contexts also i.e.

Again, learners should have developed these skills at National 4/Level 4 and these kinds of questions should only be
used to promote discussion about what they recall and highlight that they are going to be interleaving their learning.
Throughout this topic learners should be encouraged to use their algebraic skills to work backwards to evaluate
missing lengths of sides when given the area/perimeter. This could be interleaved with other topics i.e. Pythagoras.

Furthermore, they should be aware to make sure that their units match and that they are using the correct units
within a question. This should be discussed in a real life context and the impact that using incorrect units can have.

Extension

Although it is not in the guidance for National 5 Numeracy, a good extension task would be to explore circles and
derive the formulae for evaluating arc length and areas of sectors through an investigative approach. Learners
should be asked to evaluate the area and/or circumference of the first shape. They should then progress through
the different shapes and apply their knowledge of fractions to help them evaluate the areas/circumferences. This
should lead them to being able to derive the general formulae for area of sector/arc length.
This will be extremely beneficial for the learners if they are going to progress onto National 5 maths at some point in
the future as they will understand how the formulae are derived which will help them to recall and apply the
formulae.

Once learners are confident within recalling and applying the formulae to evaluate areas of triangles, circles and
quadrilaterals, learners should start to explore the nets of prisms to help them understand how to evaluate surface
areas. This can be done through different computer packages or from hands on nets that they can fit into prisms in
the class.

After having explored the nets, learners can be challenged to draw nets of shapes from their 3-D prism, or to match
up nets to given prisms i.e.

Which of the 3 nets is the correct


net for the prism shown?
Once the learners have a firm understanding of the way that the 3-D prisms would unfold to become a net, they can
they apply their knowledge of areas to find the surface area of any prism.

Special care should be taken when evaluating the surface area of a cylinder and learners should be encouraged to
investigate the formula for the curved surface area. A good way to do this is to relate the cylinder to an everyday
object that they use i.e. a tin of soup. If you can provide them with the tin and the label and ask them to derive the
formula, this will help them to understand what the curved surface area is, and to derive and apply the formula to
unknown contexts.

Learners could also interleave their knowledge of algebra and evaluate areas of 2-D shapes with algebraic
expressions as lengths of sides i.e.

Volumes

Learners should have the ability to evaluate the volume of cubes, cuboids, prisms and cylinders from their previous
learning at National 4/Level 4. They should have been exposed to investigating how the formulas are derived and
applying this knowledge in unfamiliar contexts.

Learners should have discussed nets of shapes and should be familiar with the idea of the face of a shape. A good
way to reinforce this is to ask if you were to cut through the shape, which shape would you continue to get at the
front/on top of the prism. It is beneficial to use real life objects for this i.e. cakes, cans, boxes etc.

Throughout this topic, learners should be reminded to be very careful with their units and to round their final
answers to 2 decimal places unless informed to do otherwise. When asked to round to a given degree of accuracy,
learners must first show their unrounded answer to ensure that they get their rounding marks. This is a topic in
which it is beneficial and meaningful for learners to revise their rounding skills.

Learners should also be encouraged to apply their algebraic skills to evaluate missing lengths of sides if given the
volume i.e.
Learners should be encouraged to practise their non-calculator skills in this topic and should be aware of methods to
make the calculations more simplistic. A lot of learners will spend a lot of time trying to do complex decimal
calculations or long multiplication rather than look for methods which will ease their working i.e.
Learners should also be exposed to composite volumes i.e.

Throughout this topic learners should be encouraged to justify their answers and include a numeric justification for
this.

Extension

Although it is not in the National 5 Numeracy course, it would be a good extension task to encourage learners to
investigate the volumes of cones, pyramids and spheres in preparation for National 5 maths. Again within these
questions, the importance of correct units and rounding should be reinforced, as should the application of the
learners’ algebraic skills to work backwards and find missing lengths of sides.

Another extension task could be to investigate problems using surface area and volume and investigate the most
efficient use of materials. An excellent task for this can be accessed by this link https://nrich.maths.org/7535.

Key Vocabulary

 Area
 Volume
 Perimeter
 Units
 Capacity
 Metres
 Millimetres
 Centimetres
 Convert
 Substitution
 Evaluate
Interleaving

 Evaluating distance, speed, time calculations


 Creating equations to model real life situations and evaluate unknown quantities
 Applying algebraic skills to work backwards
 Rounding
 Fractions, decimals and percentages
 Algebra

Real-life Contexts
 Model real life contexts by creating and evaluating formulae i.e. cost of a taxi fare, cost of manual labour
 Calculate the area/perimeter of sports grounds, packaging, rooms etc.
 Calculate the area of a pitched roof to be tiled. Include lengths of ridging and guttering needed.
 Calculate molecular mass from chemical formula and table of atomic masses.
 Calculate nutritional content in a meal, from data for ingredients, and weights taken (eg energy, fat, salt).
 Evaluate speed, distance, time calculations

Resources

Online Resources

https://corbettmaths.com/contents/ ->Videos, Practice Questions and Worksheets. (Areas, Perimeters and Volumes)
http://mathsbot.com/ (Interactive resources and worksheets) (All Using Formulae)

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Rx6HWZHDJpE/WEeZzEpNm4I/AAAAAAAAUHs/yjPOr0spFm8Ik-2-
eTBM2wHB1dxPMBNswCLcB/s1600/Picture1.png (Don Steward - Area)
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8-i6UwnrZcc/VwgP5k-97YI/AAAAAAAATBM/sA_y-
i7gQjw27HnfdsJ4uU8T0SXj621Jg/s1600/Picture1.png (Don Steward - Composite Areas) https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-
H2oU7d4bxFc/VyjwofELroI/AAAAAAAATOc/GAMOHnq9g0sRcJp-ZK7iPo4HciAKlTIcACLcB/s1600/Picture5.png (Don
Steward - Volumes and Surface Areas of Cuboids)
http://taylorda01.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/3/8/42387051/area_of_a_circle_01.pdf (area of a circle)
http://taylorda01.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/3/8/42387051/perimeter_01.pdf (perimeter)
http://taylorda01.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/3/8/42387051/perimeter_2_01.pdf (Perimeter)
http://www.kangaroomaths.com/free_resources/assessment/BAM/3M13_BAM.pdf (Kangaroo Maths - Perimeter)
http://www.kangaroomaths.com/free_resources/assessment/BAM/7M9_BAM.pdf (Kangaroo Maths - Surface Area)
https://nrich.maths.org/9737 (Nrich - area and volume tasks)