Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 125: Tangrams

I attempted to go over the Math 8 test from Wednesday.  Much like the test itself, it did not go well.  It was like pulling teeth to get students to tell me that slope and rate of change were the same thing in these problems.  When we had slope and y-intercept on the board, more teeth were pulled to get them to put those into equation form.

The person who can find a way to get students to read directions will make a trillion dollars and retire to their own private island.  This problem is universal.

When I got fed up with going over the test and finally admitted to myself that I was the only one who cared about the answers and methods, I changed topics.

The next section in Math 8 covers geometry.  We begin by talking about translation, rotation and reflection.  I thought the best way to cover these topics was to introduce the students to Tangrams.

They LOVED it!  They raced each other, they asked for harder ones, they yelled when people cheated!

It was such an incredible shock after the previous period of detachment that I had to pinch myself.  The next time I do this (tomorrow) I need to have shapes for them to make for each table or student.  Since I only had one picture up on the board, after two or three students solved it, many of the others gave up.

Tomorrow, I also plan to have them challenge each other by making shapes of their own.

Yo, dawg!
In geometry, it was expressed to me last week that we need to be covering more content, so today we focused on the notes.  I quizzed them on definitions of median, altitude, angle bisector, etc and found them lacking.  I will be incorporating verbal vocab quizzing into my class for a while now.  If they aren't familiar with the terms and what they mean, they won't think to look for altitudes and such when solving problems.

Another great problem from Go Geometry capped off the class.

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