Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Similar Triangles at the Board #VNPS

I have been able to get the students to the boards more and more in Geometry.  I love it.  It is a lot of work up front, but the kids are really getting it.  I have all my students at the board at the same time (#VNPS).  I use VRG with and project the groups of 3 so they know their different groups each day.  Dare I say, we have reached a great flow in the classroom.  The kids now know how it works and the transitions are smooth.  Today, I heard a student say they love the "board problems". 

I presented on my first year attempting #VNPS last year at #TMC17 and I noted at the end that I wanted to do more with Geometry and more oral and I am happy to say I have done that.  I take a look at the lesson I am to teach that day and then I sort of write a script of the description I will read to the kids.  It is always one student and one marker.  After that student does their part, they "erase the board and pass the marker".  I feel like I say that all the time.  I am lucky that my colleague and I were awarded a grant for permanent white boards and really cool magnetic coordinate planes.  So, I often tell the students to "get in your board groups and grab a graph."  They really like them too.

We go to the boards and go through the problems.  Geometry lends itself so well because it is a lot of  drawing and vocabulary.  With all the students at the boards, I can monitor their work and we can catch mistakes or misunderstandings and discuss them.  I am very picky.  I will state reminders like make sure your lines have arrowheads or make sure you mark your right angles.  The kids have gotten proficient at all the particular details that make up Geometry.

It does take longer than just sitting at their desks and writing down what I tell them, but there are conversations as they build their own understanding, so of course it will take more time.  It is worth it.  As we are drawing things or calculating, I remind them to look around the room.  Geometry also lends itself well to problems taking about the same amount of time.  Students are not held back.  The board is blank when they start, so we are all starting at a low entry point and building our own ladder of understanding.

I will say it is kind of a good exhausting.  With all the movement and taking, there is a lot of energy in the room.  I have my class of 29 first.  Then, my smaller classes, so I know if I can get through them, the rest will be easier.

We will do our board problems, then come back to recap with really brief notes, mostly to get the vocabulary down and to bring it all together.  If time, we will do some practice problems.

Here are a couple of my lessons on Similarity.
In my powerpoints, I cut and paste the answers to the previous night's homework.
I take a screenshot of the page so I can have the groups in the ppt.
I keep my Geometry syllabus in a google doc and was able to cut and paste below with all the links.  Pretty cool that it worked.

7.1 Ratios and Proportions

7.2 Similar Polygons
7.3 Similar Triangles
Geo - Day 44 Board Problems

7.4 Parallel Lines & Proportional Parts
7.5 Parts of Similar Triangles

7.6 Similarity Transformations
7.7 Scale Drawings & Models

Review for Quiz 5 on Ch. 7

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