Made 4 Math #1- Popsicle Stick Proofs

This is more for my final project in my grad class than a cool Pinterest idea but it is still a creative idea for my classroom.

In working with my English teacher friend, I've discovered that writing geometric proofs is really the skill of making inferences. We start with the given information, use facts that we know, and infer a conclusion.

I also 'discovered' that writing a proof is similar to writing the outline of a story or paper. I'm thinking that next year I will introduce proofs by first giving a story (hopefully something funny) and have the students help me write an outline: introduction, supporting evidence, and conclusion. Then we will compare the parts of an outline to the parts of a proof: the introduction is the given, the supporting evidence are the facts we know based on definitions and properties, and the conclusion is our prove statement and postulate/theorem.

I created a type of formative assessment using popsicle sticks. I wrote each statement and reason individually on a popsicle stick. Every stick has a unique symbol on the right side. I can use these symbols to have students identify parts of the proof and manipulate the sticks into the correct order without giving anything away.

I used colored popsicle sticks ($2.99 for 150 at Hobby Lobby) and they came in red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and purple. I used the yellow because I thought marker would show up best on that. The other colors are pretty dark so maybe it would be better to use regular ones and colored markers? Even better, we could use both sides of the sticks by writing in all one color on one side and writing in a different color on the other.

So I made a formative assessment using the sticks, again, more for my class than this but maybe someone will like it and use it or make it better. I also scanned the popsicle sticks in to the assessment so you could pass it out to students, have them cut them out, and then fill out the worksheet.

Either way, what I envision is students working in partners and manipulating the pieces of the proof, identifying important characteristics of a proof, and hopefully making better connections to English skills and writing proofs that make sense.


  1. love this idea. Will be using this year.

  2. Yes, this is very nice. Love the idea.

    I'll probably get some tongue depressors from my nurse; she's been very cool about giving me some for the Gummy Bears in Space activity I do in stats.