POTW – First Parallel Proof

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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 an opener problem I used the first day after I taught parallel lines.

What is it: This is a proof that practices using formal two column proof with parallels. It forces students to practice their reasons.

Why I like it: I like that students have to first practice the congruent complements theorem because even my honors students want to say substitution. Then, they have to prove the lines parallel using a converse to the original statements we learned the class before. Then, they end the proof using a straightforward statement. I think it is important that students have to practice and wrestle with knowing when to end their reasons with parallel or end it with an angle pair congruent.

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

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POTW – Polygon Intro

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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: Before I taught students what a polygon was, I just showed them some examples and some non-examples.

What is it: I used this in a powerpoint and had students, on their own, create their own definition of what an example was. As I revealed one example and then a non-example, I could see students constantly erasing and changing their definitions. Then, I had them work together and challenge each other’s definitions. Then, we moved on to practicing their definition. Only after, I told them that these were called polygons.

Why I like it: Instead of me telling my students what they need to know, they figured it out on their own. It appeared that everyone had the correct way to define a polygon before class was over and I did not have to do anything but guide them in the right direction and allow for discussion. So much more engagement than just telling them what the definition is and telling students to apply it.

Here is a link to the powerpoint if you want to try it out. Let me know if you used this and how it went!

POTW – Transversal Angle Challenge

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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.

How I used it: After students learned about the different types of angle pairs, they got to complete this challenge.

What is it: Students all went to the board with a partner and drew the diagram. With a marker and an eraser in hand, they had to try and put the numbered angles in the diagram so every statement was true.

Why I like it: So much discussion! Students were arguing (in the best way possible) over which angle goes where and why something was or was not a type. It was tricky because we had just learned the basics on a diagram with one transversal and now their were three! They learned that certain angles could be interior or exterior depending on what transversal they were looking at (or at least that is what they told me when we had a class discussion after the activity). I just acted as an answer key and when students asked me if it was right, I would just point out a counterexample and walk away. It was lots of fun and a nice way to get students up and engaging with the ideas.

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

POTW: Segment Ratio Problem

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What this is: I am going to highlight problems I used with my honors geometry students that I thought were valuable. You can see my first post in this series here.

How I used it: This was a question on a review activity we were completing in preparation for our Chapter 1 Test.

What is it: This involves the idea of the segment addition postulate and ratios.

Why I like it: The idea of how students calculate lengths with the ratios always brings up interesting viewpoints like using 2x and 3x and some students doing it in their head and visualizing how to break it. The best part about this problem is how their can be more than one solution. Very few found that out at first glance.

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

Plain Practice – A last minute idea that was not half bad

The other day in my geometry honors class, I had to teach special right triangles. I knew that I just needed time for them to practice and didn’t have time to create some type of interesting way for them to practice. I grabbed a couple of worksheets to bring with to class. I decided at the last minute to make copies of the answer keys. As students worked on the practice problems, I placed my answer key copies up around the room. To my surprise, my students were working really well and only asked me a question when they critically needed it. My last block of the day would probably have kept going if I didn’t stop them to move onto something else.

One thing that made this more effective than I thought was also having two worksheets. One was simple practice with the special right triangles and the other was tougher with application problems. It was nice that students could use this and differentiate a little. Allowing them some movement didn’t hurt either. I think that I just need to give my students time to work and ask questions and I don’t always need something flashy and exciting to help them learn. I was feeling kind of bad about this and now I feel, even though I could still always update the worksheets for next year, that it was pretty solid and the students seemed pretty strong on the homework that I assigned. I needed to write this to remind myself of these things.

End Of July Blogging Challenge

I would like to say that I wouldn’t really give myself a passing grade on this challenge…I got caught up in other things but it was good while I was doing it. I will say though, that this got me back into blogging and into the twitterverse and for that, I am glad I did this. I feel like I will be blogging more regularly now and it will only help me on my conquest to never stop getting better. Shout out to @druinok for getting me involved and all her encouragement! Without it, I don’t think I could have done it! Another shout out to all the people involved, their blog posts were awesome and seeing them post made me want to keep doing it.

This crazy MTBOS that we will live in is pretty awesome…

So Far Behind In Blogging….But I Will Make It Up Soon!

I have been so horrible these last few days about blogging. This last week of summer school with the push of getting everything done has been a little overwhelming. I have just had a lot on my plate with other things going in life as well and I just can’t seem to find the time/energy to blog. When summer school ends on Friday, my life will be so much better and I can blog more!

Note to myself to blog about these things so I don’t forget:

– Funny things students did in summer school

– Traps students seem to fall in when taking multiple choice tests and a trick that seemed to help

– Pythagorean Theorem Treasure Hunt

– How I will stay more organized at home this year

– Students at the board for practice

And I am sure I could blog about a whole bunch of other stuff I have worked on to get ready for the next school year. I promise you guys, I will post some stuff soon enough (and also get caught up on reading all of your blogs!). Look for some stuff to appear next week (or maybe something this week if I get some time to just sit down and write…I have like 3 posts that I have started but never finished!)