POTW – Crook Problem

Crook problem

What this is: I am going to highlight problems I used with my honors geometry students that I thought were valuable. You can see all posts in this series here. I am taking no claim that these are necessarily original as I might have stolen them from many of you reading this!

How I used it: This was a problem I threw at my students during class while we were working on parallel lines.

What is it: This is a classic crook problem but initially stumped a lot of students immediately.

Why I like it: Anytime I can give a problem nobody knows how to solve right away is great. Many of them drew some crazy triangles and could eventually reason it out. I liked that I could draw in an auxiliary line and introduce that idea that since two points determine a line, I can draw one in parallel to the other two anywhere I want in the diagram. It was great because they immediately asked if I could make up another one for them to complete.

Let me know if you used this and how it went!

Lazy Lines: I want them to be straight!

I am trying to identify things that annoy me this year so I can fix them.

Lots of things annoy me: the copy machine breaking down in my desperate need for five more copies, the kid who decides he should sharpen his pencil right as I am summarize the most important idea of the day, the wi-fi network being fickle, etc. I’ll spare you all of my troubles.

One thing that students do (or more like not do) is drawing lines. Anytime we have to graph a line I get really annoyed when they are jagged, look more like a curve, or bent in some odd shape that makes me ponder if students are just completely screwing with me.

Here is my fix: Give students a ruler. Not just for the classroom but ALL THE TIME. No more crummy homework either. No excuses. So, I went to amazon and bought a bunch of little rulers that are pretty inexpensive and plastic so they are less likely to break being shoved into a binder, pencil case, or the bottom of a backpack (anybody have one of those students?)

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All 8 designs

The first time we need to graph something we pull these out. I let students pick whichever one they like. They get to keep them. I have pirates and animals so everyone can be happy right?

Now I do not have to be annoyed…..or at least not by line drawings anymore. Those other things I mentioned earlier still annoy me.