Friday, 3 February 2012

Introduction to Geometry

My former Math 11 teacher would never believe me today if I were to tell him that one of my favourite subjects to teach is Math.  I think what I love most about math is that the lessons can be so hands on and engaging.    Today we started a new unit on Geometry.  I began the lesson having the children do a quick 2 minute write or draw addressing the question "What is Geometry".  This pre-assessment will help to guide my planning for the unit.   I am not worried how much the students know at this point, but instead will be more interested to see growth when we respond to this question again in a few weeks.

Next, I used a lesson created by a "Math Guru" in my district.   I have attached the link to her posting of the same lesson here  We began by reading The Greedy Triangle, by Marilyn Burns.  This cute story follows a triangle who unsatisfied with his shape, requests the local shapeshifter to add another side and angle to him so that he can become a quadrilateral.   This pattern repeats and as he continues to add more angles and sides we see him transform into pentagons, hexagons, heptagons, octagons, nonagons, and decagons.  

 While I read the story, my students explored making the various shapes using large fuzzy pipe cleaners (they were a real hit!).   These pipe cleaners can be found at Michaels.  They absolutely loved this activity.  As they continued to work with the materials, adding sides and angles, they demonstrated a concrete understanding of 2-D shapes.

To summarize the lesson, I had the students write in their math journals.  I showed examples of each of the shapes as asked them to write about each one.   I wrote the question on the board, "What makes a triangle a triangle?".   We discussed the properties of triangles and this brought forth much of the geometry language we will be using over the new few weeks.   Above is a sample from a journal. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mrs. Barker,

    I really like the way you teach Math. The kids must have a lot of fun during the class. If I had you as my math teacher when I was in junior high, Math would not be my lifetime nighmare