Geometry Makeover

For the 7 years that I have been teaching, I have been a lecture-based teacher.  I’ll admit, I think I’m the funniest person I know, so I toss in a bit of humor and I figure it can’t be that bad.  Students come in to hang out during their lunches and off periods, so I know I can’t be that despised.  But when I think about what students remember from my class, I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Geometry and everything to do with my dry wit and eclectic musical taste.  Not quite what I’m going for.

This year Geometry is getting a head-to-toe makeover.  Homework is going to be on the honor system (I’ll update you on the success/failure of this endeavor as the year progresses).  Notes which I used to type up in LaTeX, turn into interactive whiteboard flipcharts, and hand out to the students are a thing of the past.  Students are going to create their own booklets with definitions, theorems, and key facts.  Theorems are first going to be learned through hands-on exploration, and then by doing proofs.  Concrete first, abstract second.  I’m stealing ideas from great teachers across the web (thank you edubloggers) and trying to piecewise-function my own lessons from them.

Productive item of the day: my syllabus.  The best part of my syllabus is the last page where I explain the grading scale and what competency means.

Grade Scale

Productive item of yesterday: putting faces on my office supplies.

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About sherioffy

I am a teacher. I am attempting to persuade today's youth that mathematics is both beautiful and satisfying. I'll keep you posted about the progress of my endeavors. So far, no one is buying it ;)
This entry was posted in Geometry, Syllabus and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Geometry Makeover

  1. I have a suggestion for your lectures that has been a HUGE help for me. I have made sure that I replace every single piece of clipart from the book with a real world picture. It creates interest with the students immediately and solves the “where do we use this” question. Also, it makes me a better teacher because I am forced to give tougher questions.

  2. sherioffy says:

    Interestingly enough, my book doesn’t have any pictures. Since I teach at a private school, I get to choose my books. And since I’m a theorist at heart, I choose books with few (if any) pictures. My current geometry text was written in 1991 and only has pictures related to problems, and none are of the “clip art” variety. I tend to draw pictures when discussing “real world” situations., which you are correct in suggesting I could replace with actual pictures. I feel that students need to learn to take a situation with words, turn it into a picture (either drawn or photographed), then turn that into math, solve it appropriately, and turn the answer back into words.

    That was a long answer to tell you that I agree with you 🙂

    • Especially in Geometry I have found that that process of creating pictures is especially challenging for certain students. Sometime giving them pictures first and creating problems (much like Dan Meyer does) helps them learn the processes of making their own pictures after they are given problems.

  3. CK says:

    Careful with the anthropomorphism! I have observed that when overused by math teachers it leads to the loony bin. 🙂

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