A Magic Carpet for our classroom!

“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a carpet in our classroom? ” I asked my students, “A rug where we could all sit together and share ideas, where we could stretch out and read stories?”
This initial idea sparked a practical mathematical investigation in our classroom as Dani, Mike, George and Constantinos collaborated to solve the problem. I asked them to figure out the following:

About how much carpet area is needed for twenty children and one teacher to be able to sit around the edges.
• What are all the possible dimensions of such a rug?
• What options are best and why?
• How much would this cost to buy at IKEA?

“Let’s measure how much space an average 5th grader needs to sit,” said Mike. “Let’s measure George and Constantinos.”

“Don’t forget the teacher! We can measure the chair for her and add that in,” pointed out Constantinos. “It’s about 70 cm.”
“Ok, if 1 5th grader needs 60 cm, then 20 students will need 1,200cm, plus the teacher’s chair equals about 1,270cm. If that is the perimeter, then we can have either a rug 500×135, or 400×235. “ figured Dani.

“Let’s see which would fit best in the corner by the cubbies,” said George thinking practically.
“The second one is better because the first would not fit. It would go on the wall,” figured Dani.

“Mrs Kynigou told us the cheapest rug costs 19.99€, but it’s not big enough. It’s only 133x197cm. Two rugs fit almost everyone, but it’s not fair to leave some kids sitting on the floor. Can we buy three?” they all reasoned.
“If we have three rugs 197×399, then the perimeter is 1,191cm. That is still not enough. I think I have a better way…like an L shape…That gives us 1,320cm, that’s enough for 20 kids,” argued Dani.


The students took their finished reports and shared them with Ms Makropoulos. They came back excitedly, “The principal agreed! Now we have to find out if the other fifth grades want rugs too?”
“Wait! How much will that cost?”
“She told us to fill out a requisition. What’s one of those and how do you fill it out?”

We are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of our “magic carpet”!
“We’d better hurry up,” says Dani. “That offer only lasts until the end of November!”
Posted by Mrs Kynigou

Comment time:
What math skills did our students use to solve this problem?
Write a comment below identifying a specific skill used to solve a specific part of this problem.
Can you suggest another real life project that we could try to solve using our math skills?

10 thoughts on “A Magic Carpet for our classroom!

  1. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,
    One of the math operations they used to solve the problem was multiplication when they had to multiply the long side x 2 and the short side x 2 and then you add them together to find the perimeter.
    Great job!
    From Alex #1

  2. Dear Mrs.Kynigou,
    We love the way you typed our project!You are a great author!
    Great job!
    Your students,
    Mike and Constantinos

  3. Dear Mrs.Kynigou,
    I think we also used division when we thought about buying three carpets instead of one because we divided the dimensions into three pieces.Do you agree?

  4. Dear Mrs.Kynigou,
    I think they also used average because they wanted to see the average one fifth grader needs to sit on the carpet!!!

    Your student,

  5. Dear enrichment group,
    thank you for the amazing carpet you placed in our classroom,without you we wouldn’t have a warm carpet to read our stories at the end of each day.
    Your friend,Stathis #18

  6. Deaar Enrichment group,
    thank you for the awesome carpets you brought for our class. The color is so nice. Everybody enjoys them since we have to take of our shoes every time we have to sit on it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s