Monday, March 2, 2015

The Next Project...

Project: The Ultimate Vacation
Due Date: Friday, March 20th
Great South Australian Coastal

Scenario: Your family of three has just won a trip to anywhere in the world, and you’ve decided you’re going to Australia!  Together, you’ve been given $24,040 to spend on your travel.  You are going to be gone for a total of TWO WEEKS, and have decided to be there sometime during June and/or July.  

While there, you must plan out what you are going to be doing every day, and spend as MUCH of your $24,040 as possible.  You are not allowed to spend more than that amount.  You don’t want to be putting this vacation on a credit card!  

Part 1 - Budgeting Your Trip - Do This Part First!
Complete on lined paper.  Label and show your work.  Take a snapshot of your work and insert it into the Google Classroom Assignment.

A. Your family of three has been given $24,040 to spend on a trip to Australia.  The only problem is, this money is in AMERICAN currency and not Australian.  How much is $24,040 worth in AUD (Australian Dollar)?  Show your work as to how you would convert this amount.  

B. Traveling to Australia is NOT cheap.  You have budgeted spending 25% of your money saved for this trip on travel.  How much money does this come to?

C. You are going to be in Australia for a total of 2 weeks.  After taking off 25% of your money for travel,  about how much money should you spend a day (to make sure that you don’t run out of it)?

Part 2 - Travel/Lodging/Expenditures
Where are you going to stay?  How are you going to get there?  When are you going to leave?  When are you going to come back? What are you going to do?

~Make a copy of the Spreadsheet in Google classroom, and share it with your group members.  On your spreadsheet, track ALL of your expenses (travel, hotels, expenses, food, etc)
~For flights, I’d recommend  
~For hotel,
~For food, budget $25.00 per day, per person.  
~Looking for things to do in Australia? Let Me Google That For You...  
~Any “work” that you do for the project MUST have a snapshot of it inserted onto the 2nd page of the Google Spreadsheet.  

Part 3 - Mapping Your Trip
Using, map your trip using Placemarkers and lines.  Submit a link to your map in Google Classroom once it is completed.  

On each Placemarker, put down the total cost of that event.  Insert images, videos, and maybe a sentence or two.  

You are going to be gone for a total of TWO weeks (don’t forget to include travel in those two weeks!).  

Part 4 - The Really Fun Part
Once the spreadsheets and maps are completed, I’m going to share them with some educators I know down in Australia.  They are then going to pick the one trip that they feel like does the best job of seeing the most of their country’s culture, history, food, and fun.  

Monday, February 23, 2015


Students and Parents,

I was given the privilege this past weekend to attend and speak at a conference out in San Francisco, California.

If you don't know where that is, here's a map...

I learned some great new approaches to using technology in the classroom, and also some fun new websites that I can't wait to share with you all (For example, check out "Wonderopolis")

I should've been back by today, but my connecting flight through Dallas, Texas got cancelled due to bad weather!


On the plus side, in between days at the conference I was able to make my way around the Bay Area to see the sights.  Check out some of these pictures!

Here's the Golden Gate Bridge at night...

I had a few hours one afternoon, so I went and hiked around some Redwoods.  These are some of the world's tallest and oldest trees -- some over 2000 years old!

I was so close to the Pacific Ocean, and I kept waking up at 3am (thank you, jet lag), that I figured I could swing by the coast one morning to take a look.  Note: the sand and water were VERY cold!

Flying back... check the snow underneath us!


Lastly, I know that many of you have finished your Minecraft/Volume project (and THANK YOU so much for still getting that done on time!), but I have decided to make the final due date for the project be this Wednesday, February 25th.  With us being out all last week and having limited Internet access, I figure that is a fair time to have the finished project due.  However, please let me know if you still need additional time/help/etc. 


~Mr Piercey
Eminence Independent Schools
Google Certified Teacher
Follow Me on Twitter @MrPiercey

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Volume Project

Volume Project
Due Friday, February 20th
Part 1: Construction of Rectangular Prisms

Part ONE of this project can either be done via the game Minecraft, the blocks in Mr. Piercey’s classroom, OR any square unit cubes that the student has at home.
Students may work in partners for part one if they choose.  Please note that if two students work on a project, however, the expectation is that BOTH students will contribute equally to the completion of the project.  One student cannot be the only one doing the work for this project.

Task: Build the following rectangular prisms.  Make sure they are all clearly labeled with the following:

Polyhedron Letter ____ Length: ____ Width: ____ Height: ____ Total Volume: ____

  1. Construct a rectangular prism that has a total volume of 50 cubic units.
  2. Build a rectangular prism that has a height of 5 units, a width of 3 units, and a length of 7 units.  
  3. Construct TWO different rectangular prisms that both have a volume of 40 cubic units.  However, they must each have different dimensions (length, width, height).  
  4. The base of rectangular prism D has a total surface area of 12 square units.  It has a height of 7 units.  Construct it.  
  5. Rectangular prism E has a height of 10 units and a width of 4 units.  It’s total volume is 80 cubic units.  Construct it.   
  6. Construct a rectangular prism which has dimensions DIFFERENT from any of the others on this list.  It’s total volume > 20 cubic units.  
  7. Create a polyhedron that has a volume of 60 cubic units.  It can NOT be a rectangular prism.  
  8. Optional: Construct three rectangular prisms, each with different dimensions (L x W x H), that have a total combined volume of 104 cubic units.  

How to Show/Share Your Constructions
If you used Minecraft to complete the project…
~ Using a screencapture tool, record a screencast of you showing the different rectangular prisms you created.  This can be uploaded to a private Youtube channel and then emailed to Mr. Piercey’s email (
~ Take screenshots of your rectangular prisms.  Make sure I can see the length, width, and height of them all.  This may require multiple pictures of each polyhedron (3D shape).
~ If you complete the project on an iPad/Android tablet, take screenshots of your rectangular prisms.  Email these to Mr. Piercey at  
~ You can also bring your iPad/Android tablet in to school to show Mr. Piercey your construction.  Note: you are responsible for taking care of your device if you bring it to school.  
~ Other methods are also acceptable!

If you used the cubes in Mr. Piercey’s classroom…
Create a Google Doc and take pictures of your constructions using your computer’s webcam.  Rename the Doc “Your name -- Volume Project”.  Make sure each picture is clearly labeled, and then share it with   

Part 2 - Recording your Data
There is a spreadsheet template in Google Classroom.  Record the following information on it BEFORE pressing the “Turn In” button.

~ The total volume of each prism you constructed in Part 1.  
~ The expression you used to determine each volume (L x W x H)
~ A snapshot of your work.    

Part 3 - Written Responses
Answer the following written responses IN COMPLETE SENTENCES on a sheet of graph paper.  

  1. Explain how to determine the volume of a rectangular prism.  
  2. How are VOLUME and AREA similar?  How are they different?
  3. If a rectangular prism has a height of “n” and a base of 20 cubic units, write the expression you would use to determine the total volume of the prism.  
  4. Look at rectangular prism B that you created in Part 1 of the assignment.  What is it’s TOTAL SURFACE AREA?  
  5. Explain how two polyhedrons (3D shapes) can have different dimensions (L x W x H) but still have the same volume.   

Part 4 - Optional Bonus

With your parents’ supervision, create an object which has a total volume of EXACTLY 60 cubic inches.  

~Mr Piercey
Eminence Independent Schools
Google Certified Teacher
Follow Me on Twitter @MrPiercey

Monday, January 26, 2015

Perimeter, Area, and Volume Project

Perimeter, Area, and Volume Project
Due Friday, February 6th

Assignment Basics: Part One: Draw the dimensions of your bedroom onto a sheet of graph paper.  You must also label and draw any furniture within it (bed, dresser, etc).  The dimensions for these need to be labeled as well.  Part Two: Imagine you are given a budget of $1000.00 to redecorate your bedroom.  On the spreadsheet shared with you in Google Classroom, make a price list of items you’d like to purchase.  Part Three: Using your drawing and the information contained on the spreadsheet, answer these questions in complete sentences.  Show and label all of your work.  

--- Part ONE ---
Before you sketch the dimensions of your bedroom, you’ll need to measure its length, width, and height.  Measure the following dimensions with a tape measure to the nearest half foot:

Length:  ______ feet
Width:    ______ feet
Height:   ______ feet

Important: If your bedroom is NOT a rectangle, you’ll need to figure out the lengths of all sides.  Think: break it into smaller rectangles first.  

Next, using the graph paper handed to you in class today, sketch the outline of your bedroom.  Be sure to use a straight edge when drawing the sides.  Make sure it is TO SCALE. In other words, does each box = 1 square foot or 2 square feet, etc?

Label the length of each side; don’t forget your units!  

Somewhere on the front, figure out and clearly label the following measurements.  Don’t forget your units.  

Perimeter: ________ (to the nearest half foot)
Area: ________ (in square feet)
Volume: ________ (in cubic feet)

Finally, draw and label any furniture in your bedroom.  Make sure they are to scale as well.   

--- Part TWO ---

Now imagine that you have $1000.00 to spend to redecorate your bedroom.  Using (or a similar website), locate the prices of different items you’d like to purchase for your “new” room.  

You’ll need to fill in the spreadsheet in Google Classroom to keep track of all of the purchases you’ll make.  Important: you MUST spend as much of the $1000.00 as possible.  You also MUST make sure to purchase items essential for a bedroom before buying anything else.

Turn this spreadsheet in once completed.  

--- Part THREE ---

On the back of the graph paper, answer the following questions in complete sentences.  Show your work where necessary.  

  1. Explain the difference between perimeter, area, and volume.  
  2. Come up with AT LEAST TWO different names that would describe the shape of your bedroom.  Explain why your bedroom is each of these shapes.  
  3. What is the RANGE of prices listed on your spreadsheet?
  4. What is the MEDIAN price on your spreadsheet?  How do you know?  
  5. Explain the PIE CHART that appears on your spreadsheet.    

Parents: If your child needs additional time at school to work on this assignment outside of class hours, Mr. Piercey gets to school by 7:30 each morning.  He will gladly work with your child in the classroom during this time.  He will also be staying after school on Tuesday, February 3rd until 4:15.  Please make sure to send a note to school if you’d like him to work with your child during either of these times.  You can also email Mr. Piercey at with any questions you have.  

Rubric: Your finished assignment (with part one, two, and three) will be scored on a rubric.  TBA soon.

    Mr. Piercey

~Mr Piercey
Eminence Independent Schools
Google Certified Teacher
Follow Me on Twitter @MrPiercey

Monday, January 12, 2015

Geometry in the Real World Assignment


I am sending home a paper copy of this assignment with your child today, but here is a digital copy (just in case they happen to lose the paper version!)

Geometry in the Real World Assignment
Due Friday, January 23rd.
Assignment Basics: Using Google’s My Maps Tool (, students will create a map with different polygons drawn on it (Part One).  Students will then record this information onto a table they create and answer questions about their map in complete sentences (Part Two).

--- Part ONE ---
Draw the following polygons accurately onto a map in My Maps. Then, in each “balloon” (the white box that pops up when you click your polygon), type in the definition for each.  Use the notes from class to help.  

(Regular) Parallelogram
Obtuse Triangle
(Regular) Pentagon
(Regular) Hexagon

How to Use My Maps
In My Maps, the draw a line/polygon tool is up the top and looks like this: SNP_3024944_en_v0.  Click it to draw a polygon on your map.  Be sure to connect your first point and last point to complete each polygon. To type the definition and change the name for each polygon, you’ll need to “Edit” its balloon.  To do this, click the polygon to see its balloon and then click the pencil in the lower right hand corner.  Please notice how the “Balloon” also shows you its perimeter and area.  This information will be used in part two of the assignment.

Important: You MUST be logged into your school Google Account first so you can save your map!  We log in to this account everyday, but if your child is still having difficulty, please send a note to school or email me at and I can help.  Mr. Piercey will also show students how to submit their maps during math class.

--- Part TWO ---

Once you have the polygons drawn on your map, complete parts A, B, C, D, E, and F below using a separate piece of Graph Paper:

  1. Choose AT LEAST FIVE of the polygons you’ve drawn on your map and put their information in a table similar to the example below (perimeter, area, sides, and vertices -- don’t forget the units!).

Polygon Name
Example: Triangle
4.32 miles
8.08 sq miles

  1. Pick THREE of your polygons (be sure to label which ones you use) and SUM UP their total area.  Don’t forget your units!  Show your work!
  2. Pick ONE of the polygons on your map and multiply its total perimeter by 10.  Label and show your work!  
  3. Which of your polygons has the greatest area?  Which has the smallest area?  What is the difference between these two areas?
  4. Explain why a square is also a rectangle AND a rhombus AND a quadrilateral.  
  5. Imagine that Bob is completing this assignment.  After completing the assignment, he decides to add the perimeter of his rhombus and pentagon together (His work is below).  Is Bob correct?  Explain why or why not (in complete sentences, please!).  
Challenge (optional): What is the actual total combined perimeter of Bob’s Rhombus and Pentagon (in feet)?

Parents: If your child needs additional time at school to work on this assignment outside of class hours, Mr. Piercey gets to school by 7:30 each morning.  He will gladly work with your child in the classroom during this time.  He will also be staying after school on Tuesday, January 20th until 4:15.  Please make sure to send a note to school if you’d like him to work with your child during either of these times.  You can also email Mr. Piercey at with any questions you have.  

Rubric: Your finished assignment (with part one and part two) will be scored on the following rubric

Part 1
All twelve polygons are clearly drawn and labeled on the map.  A clear definition for each polygon is within each “balloon”.  
All twelve polygons are on the map, but some definitions are lacking/missing.
Some polygons are missing or poorly drawn, definitions are either missing or incorrect.
Most polygons are missing or blank.  There are no definitions for the polygons.
This portion of the assignment is missing.
Part 2
All parts are complete and neatly and clearly labeled on graph paper.  All of the student’s work is clearly shown.
All parts of the assignment are complete with a few errors.  Parts of their work may be missing or incorrect.
Parts of the assignment are missing and/or their work contains multiple errors in calculation.  
Much of the assignment is incomplete or student work is difficult to read or understand.
This portion of the assignment is blank/never turned in.  
Overall score
E - Exceeds Expectations
M - Meets Expectations
W - Working Towards Expectations
C - Area of Concern
B - Blank


~Mr Piercey
Eminence Independent Schools
Google Certified Teacher
Follow Me on Twitter @MrPiercey