Learning The Concept of Area and Perimeter by Exploring Their Relation

Destina Wahyu Winarti, Siti Maghfirotun Amin, Agung Lukito, Frans Van Gallen

Abstract


Learning the concept of perimeter and area is not easy for students in grade 3 of primary school. A common mistake is that students think that if the area is the same, the perimeter also has to be the same. It is difficult for them to understand that for a  given area, there are many possibilities of perimeter and vice versa. When student are not aware of this relation they might confuse about the concept in their continuation of learning process. This research was conducted to study if it would support students’ understanding of the concept of perimeter and area if we let them explore the relation between perimeter and area in the very first phase of the learning process. Design research was chosen as the method to study this issue and the three basic principles in The Realistic Mathematics approach were applied in this study to support the learning process of perimeter and area. Real life context such as picture frames was choosen in developing a sequence of learning line to reach the learning goal of perimeter and area. The partipants of this research were students and mathematics teacher of grade 3 in one of the elementary school in Surabaya. Two classes were taken to involve in the first cycle and second cycle respectively. 
The teaching experiment shows that the class activities such as making photo frame, measuring photo paper with sticky paper and arranging shapes with wooden matches are activities which can be used to reveal the relation of perimeter and area. From those activities students build their own understanding that in fact area and perimeter are not in one to one correspondence, they found that for the given area they might find different perimeter or vice versa. They also found the reason why they multiply length and width to count the area of rectangular or square shape from sticky paper activity. Somehow some students were found still struggle with their understanding of area and perimeter. They often simply count the area and perimeter but when it comes into comparing the area or perimeter  they still struggle to differentiate between area and perimeter.

Keywords: Perimeter, Area, Relation between perimeter and area, Understanding

 

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22342/jme.3.1.616.41-54


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22342/jme.3.1.616.41-54

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Journal on Mathematics Education
Program S3(Doktor) Pendidikan Matematika FKIP Universitas Sriwijaya
Kampus FKIP Bukit Besar
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