Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#MTBoSBlaugust Day 19: Thoughts for Starting Geometry

Second to last post of #MTBoSBlaugust! This has been an incredibly rewarding experience, gotten me ready for back to school, and helped me see how much blogging increases my critical thinking about my teaching. 

I've done a lot of blogging about my plans for establishing a classroom that is more aligned with growth mindset and I intend on letting that inform a lot of my first day activities. I'm going to start both my preps with the Post It Activity I mentioned earlier to get conversation going. The questions have totally changed from my original post, but my goal is have 7 questions that align with the 7 class norms Jo Boaler talked about in Mathematical Mindsets and I outlined in my class norms videos.  I'll blog about them more on the first day of school! 

From there, my PLC typically goes straight into content. And while I want to make sure I'm keeping pace with a new prep, I also want to set the tone of critical thinking, collaboration, and discussion. I can't stand the idea of having kids copy definitions on day 1....it hurts my heart. Here's what I'm thinking and I'm definitely happy to take any feedback you have! 

1) Pair/Share on why precise language is important to the kids personally. I'm thinking:

  • curfew
  • school rules
  • other awesome things they might come up with?
And just generally things like these:
Side note: this is my FAVORITE teaching tool for the AP exam.
It's how I get my kids to finally stop using the work "it" in their answers. 
Then, we can get into a brief overview of who Euclid was and how this attention to detail was incredibly important to him. We are going to think like mathematicians in this class and in order to do that, we need to be sure we're being precise. 

2) Students work in pairs to complete this investigation from Discovering Geometry: An Inductive Approach (Key Curriculum Press) and wrap up with generating class definitions

3) Give students a list of geometric terms and have them work with their partner to generate the most precise definition they can given their prior knowledge. This will not only get them communicating, but hopefully help me pre-assess what they remember and give me time to walk around and talk to kids individually. 

4) Discuss their definitions as we generate our own class definitions. Culminate with filling in notes for the day that address notation. 

Thoughts? Favorite ways to address such a vocab-heavy course? Favorite Euclid videos? Feel free to comment! 

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