Planning to Incorporate Engagement and the Math Practice Standards

This week as we continue our unit on geometry we will be introducing types of triangles, quadrilaterals and other polygons From our understanding our students have seen some of this information before but we are hoping to extend on this by using both Geogebra and a group exploration activity. We are going to first use Geogebra to explore a “proof” (we’re using that term loosely) to prove that the sum of the measures of the interior angles of every triangle is 180 degrees. Our plan is to have each student create 3 different types of triangles (equilateral, scalene, etc.) and then find the sum of the measures of the interior angles of their triangles. With this we should have around 75 unique triangles in hopes to show students a different area of mathematics and to stress that they should not always take our word as absolute fact.

We are also going to incorporate a quadrilateral discovery activity for groups of students to do. We have adjusted a quadrilateral project our CT had already created to make it work so groups can explore one type of quadrilateral to explore what properties every quadrilateral of that type has. Once they find all of these the plan is to allow them to prepare some type of short presentation so they can teach the class all about that type of quadrilateral. We think this type of activity will be meaningful because the relationships between the different types of quadrilaterals will come up again and again throughout the rest of their mathematical careers.

My two goals for these two activities are to increase engagement and to promote the Standards for Mathematical Practice. I think by doing having our students doing a proof of the Angle Sum Theorem they will be able to see the fun exploration side of math and I think will allow them to take ownership of their learning. Maybe we will be lucky enough to get them to start thinking about why this actually works and wanting to explore that on their own. I think the self exploration that take place between the two activities will also tie in the Standards for Mathematical Practice well rather than just taking notes down without really paying attention to what I am saying. We hope to be able to show our students that doing math is more that remembering a rule in order to complete the homework assignment. I hope to post more about how these activities went and about how our Geometry Fold-cabulary (I didn’t forget) went this week.

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2 comments

  1. I’m excited to hear how it went and what you learned from it. I’m also curious about the specifics of how you plan to tie in the math practices. For instance, are you planning to be explicit with the students that the learning goals include growth with one or more SMPs, or is the goal more that you are able to get students to be engaged with SMPs in the context of the active learning. you have planned? Thanks for the post — it’s interesting to hear what’s going on in your classroom.

    1. I don’t know that I had really thought about being explicit with stating the SMP with our students. I was thinking more that the way the lesson is structured is supporting them. My hope is a the very least students can grow from 1 and 3 during the activity. Now that you say something I think it will be a good idea to share with our students what we are hoping they can do in terms of the SMP.

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