Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day 161: Play Myst-y For Me

We had a nice, productive day of note-taking!  The Math 8 kids are taking a unit test tomorrow so we spent the class going over the unit review and answering questions that they had about anything.  Several students broke off into small groups and worked through some practice problems to prepare.

In Geometry, we started the guided notes on circles.

I LOVE me some circles.
"I like turtles." "I know you do, kid. It's not a contest!"

I think high school level geometry can be completely boiled down to the relationships of  triangles and circles with all properties stemming from them.

I also like the video game series Metroid.  The game play in this series is non-linear.  You move along a certain path, exploring the map as much as you can.  You find doors and pathways that you can't open yet because you don't possess the correct weapon or gear.  As you gain upgrades, previously locked pathways open up, allowing for further exploration.
Also, a great action series with a female lead? Yes, please!

The same principle plays out in the Myst video game series (as well as 7th Guest and others) except that instead of weapons, you need to find puzzle clues to open new areas.
This stupid dome...

I love when an idea clicks into place, unlocking a puzzle with which I've been struggling.  I imagine that this is the feeling that detectives get when the clues start falling into place.

I was able to see this today when we started talking about chords of circles.  Since we had already discussed right triangles and their properties, my students started using those to talk about arc length and chords.

I think that, too often, the curriculum sequence is unconnected and doesn't allow students to fit the pieces together.  Often, it is left up to the teacher to make those connections for them, saying things like "remember when we talked about this? Well, this is why you needed to learn it."

It's much more satisfying to hear students say "we can use the right triangle stuff that we talked about" without teacher prompting.

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