# Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Measurement and Polygons

The Advanced Common Core Math Explorations series creates and nurtures mathematical adventurers! Students engage in challenging activities that deepen and extend their understanding of concepts from the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. They stretch their mathematical imaginations to the limit as they create and manipulate geometric figures, draw and analyze complex designs, and develop and apply measurement strategies to solve challenging real-world and mathematical problems. Each activity comes with extensive support for teachers including learning goals, discussion guides, detailed solutions, and suggestions for extending the investigations. There is also a free supplemental ebook offering strategies for motivation, assessment, parent communication, and suggestions for using the materials in different learning environments.

Exploration 1: Polygon Perambulations

The word "perambulate" means to "walk around." In this activity, you figuratively (and maybe literally!) perambulate polygons, looking at their angles from many different perspectives. As you develop and compare a variety of strategies for drawing regular polygons, you naturally learn about central, interior, and exterior angles—not just their definitions, but relationships between them. Eventually, you discover and justify important algebraic formulas enabling you to calculate angles in polygons without having to measure them.

Exploration 2: Impossible Polygons

Can you make a concave quadrilateral? How about a pentagon with four right angles? In this investigation, you are challenged to create shapes satisfying certain geometric conditions. As you try to discover which drawings are possible and which are not, you explore deep ideas about mathematical definitions.

Exploration 3: Starstruck!

Draw intriguing star-shaped designs and explore their angles. There are countless discoveries to make and patterns to explore—and lots of room for creativity and surprise! If you are ready to take the activity to the next level, you will connect your geometric discoveries to advanced algebraic concepts.

Exploration 4: Geoboard Squares

Explore connections between area and algebra as you search for squares on a geoboard or dot paper. At first, it may seem easy, but watch out—there is more to this challenge than meets the eye!

Exploration 5: Creating Area Formulas

In this exploration, you are not satisfied with simply believing what you are told. Memorizing and calculating are useful skills, but creating formulas and understanding where they come from require the kinds of thinking skills that real mathematicians use. The formulas that you discover may not always be exactly like the ones in your textbook, but if you can prove that they work, they will belong to you!

Exploration 6: A New Slant on Measurement

By extending some of the ideas from Exploration 4, you create methods for calculating lengths of diagonal segments on a grid. By the time you complete this work, you will have discovered a famous mathematical formula, and you will be prepared to take on countless new mathematical challenges in the rest of this exploration and beyond!