I LOVE my Professional Learning Network!
The people with whom I interact with over Twitter, Voxer and this blog are some of the most amazing teachers I know. It is no exaggeration to say that they have helped me to change my life and outlook on teaching. They provide me with resources and push my thinking in directions I would not have otherwise considered.
Today's activity in geometry was a prime example of a PLN provided resource.
On my post yesterday about Conceptual Knowledge, one of my colleagues from California, Jed Butler, linked me to an activity on Illuminations. It's an extension of the "finding an apartment" activity that they enjoyed with a slight twist.
Today, I posed the following situation:
You own a chain of pizza places in Squareville. Orders are taken by a central switchboard and sent out to the franchise which is closest to the order. Your task is divide the town into regions so that you will quickly know which franchise will handle which order.
They start out with 2 franchises in the town, then 3, then 4 and finally 5.
This exercise pushed the outside limits of what they were willing to do. Admittedly, it may have been more productive as a culminating activity when they had more confidence with the compass. Regardless, it was interesting.
I still struggle with timing. In this class, but also in my other ones, I want to give time for students to struggle, but not so much that the kids who are fast get bored. With such a diverse group of learners, it's a difficult line to walk.
In this activity, one group was on to the exercise with 5 franchises while another was still struggling with 3. If they get too far apart, the slower students get frustrated and give up, which I don't want.
If all kids were robots, it would be so much easier!
Maybe that's why the educational system tries to make them into robots...