The May problem scenario has students explore what happens to the area of a two-dimensional shape as the side dimensions change but the perimeter remains the same. A fourth-grade teacher from North Carolina explored the task and uncovered her students' misconceptions concerning the corner tiles of the rectangle.

Contributor Notes

Edited by Drew Polly,, an assistant professor in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Each month, this section of the Problem Solvers department discusses classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of Teaching Children Mathematics. Find detailed submission guidelines for all departments at

(Corresponding author is Polly
Teaching Children Mathematics


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