Skip to main content


5th Grade Math - Calculating Volume of Rectangular Prisms

Clip 3/13: Calculating Volume of Rectangular Prisms Lesson Part 1B


Continuing the first act of the task, Mallory asks her 5th-grade students to record the question “How many sugar cubes are in the box?” She asks the students, “If we’re trying to figure out how many sugar cubes are in this box, what is some information we need to know? Record everything you can think of, whether it be a question, a concept, an idea.” Mallory’s students discuss at their table groups the questions and ideas they have, as she circulates around the tables.

Teacher Commentary

It’s not necessarily the focus on the solution, it’s just having kids basically struggle with what they’re trying to solve in order to find a solution, which is something that students aren’t necessarily used to. They want to get the entirety of the problem and then quickly solve it and get it over with, or they want to know right away if they’re right or wrong, and within a Three-Act Task, that doesn’t lend itself to be true.

Materials & Artifacts