Geometry Constructions

Normally I skip right over constructions in geometry because I've just never found them to be that important.

I hope that I am teaching more authentically, in a way that involves doing math like (what I think) a mathematician does. I also hope that I am teaching more with kids in mind, in a way that realizes different students think differently and can be successful at different parts of math.

So, I'm doing them.

I found step-by-step demos of tons of constructions over at Math Open Reference. They have printable step-by-step instructions that go along with them but I took a different approach.

As a class, we watched the demo and did one step at a time. Then we tried to do another drawing from memory. We stopped and wrote out own directions (hey hey another writing across the curriculum moment!) and then completed two more drawings.

Here's what the demo for perpendicular bisector looks like.

Here's what my worksheet looked like (also included angle bisector):

I used this method for several constructions and I was pretty happy with the results.

I also like the alternative circle method for drawing an equilateral triangle. Definitely doable without a demo. Especially since I didn't find one.

Demo: Incircle/Circumcircle

Demo: Centroid/Median and Altitude/Orthocenter

Semester Reflection

I'm always looking for a way to incorporate writing into my math lessons. Most of the time it is just a sentence or two here or there as an explanation or a definition.

A semester reflection is one way I thought of to focus on writing in a way that naturally fit into my classroom. I think it was interesting for them because it was opinion based but also interesting for me because I received feedback on my students, my instruction, and my classroom.

At the end of the first semester we give our end of course exam for the second time as a way to show growth from August to December. I did this early enough so that I could give students class time in the computer lab since once of my requirements was to type their paper.

I broke it down very specifically for each paragraph to avoid students saying they didn't know what to write. I thought it went over very well. I didn't give a page requirement since I gave a paragraph requirement and there really was very little complaining.

For Algebra II, I substituted graphing calculator for compass and ruler.

I graded these over Christmas break which was actually a fun way to get back into my teaching groove. I was so amused that I made a 'reflection reflection' based on "trends" I noticed in their papers.

I laughed. They laughed.

P.S. I despise Times New Roman with all of my heart. Almost as much as Comic Sans.

Completing the Square

This was my first time teaching completing the square and I was nervous about it.

Luckily for me, I bookmarked this post by Mimi.

I used the area model to teach polynomial multiplication in Algebra I so I really liked this connection into quadratics. It worked out soooo well! The students even said it was easy and this included ones with fractions too. There is something about having boxes to fill in that just makes things seem simple. Or at the least, doable.

I took Mimi's worksheet and made it my own, using her methods of scaffolding. We first practiced rewriting equations in vertex form and then solving all the way.

Teacher Evaluation Binder {A Teacher Evaluation Series}

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since August!

Short summary: this is my best year yet! My biggest class size is 13, I have less preps, I've been decorating the crap out of my brand new house, and I just generally feel like I actually know what I'm doing and I'm doing a pretty good job!

I feel guilty for not posting but I also feel like a lot of my posts were complaints anyway....so it's actually GOOD that I haven't posted.

But to make up for it, I want to write a few posts and share some resources!

For those of you being evaluated under the Charlotte Danielson model, this is a set of binder dividers labeled with each domain and component. It gives a checklist of possible documents to include such as: lesson plans, pacing guides, parent contact logs, end of course exams, final exams, etc.

It also includes a customizable binder cover and spine cover for a three ring binder.

Even if you're not being evaluated under Charlotte Danielson, it is still a great resource for evaluation. It keeps you neat and organized and looks very impressive to administrators.

We had to create this for one of our classes in our master's cohort and it spread to other teacher's in our school.