Exploring the Hand in Hands-On Learning: Illuminating the Standards for Mathematical Practice


  • Mark D. Hogue Slippery Rock University
  • Laura Reade Canon-McMillan School District


Standards of Mathematical Practice, area, inquiry, hands-on learning, Non-routine problem-solving


Exploring the diverse sizes and shapes of hands among sixth-grade students offers a practical platform for engaging with complex mathematical concepts. This study involved 113 students who investigated the area of their hands, a task that requires understanding the measurement of irregular shapes. Traditionally, middle school curricula focus on the area of regular figures, such as squares and triangles. Addressing the grades 6-8 Measurement Standard, our activity introduces methods for calculating the area of more complex shapes. We detail the instructional activities used to familiarize students with these techniques across five sixth-grade classes. The hands-on approach not only aligns with best practices in mathematics education but also enriches students' problem-solving skills.


Hoiberg, K. B., Sharp, J., Hodgson, T., & Colbert, J. (2005). Geometric Probability and the Areas of Leaves. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 10(7), 326–332. https://doi.org/10.5951/mtms.10.7.0326

Mathematical Practice Standards | Inside Mathematics. (n.d.). The University of Texas Dana Center. https://www.insidemathematics.org/common-core-resources/mathematical-practice-standards




How to Cite

Hogue, M. D., & Reade, L. (2024). Exploring the Hand in Hands-On Learning: Illuminating the Standards for Mathematical Practice. Ohio Journal of School Mathematics, 96(1), 35–46. Retrieved from https://ohiomathjournal.org/index.php/OJSM/article/view/9775




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