Planes, Lines, and Points

In Geometry today my students were already starting to come around in terms of participation and collaboration.  There’s still a long way to go, but it was nicer than yesterday.  I did have a new student added today, but he’ll get along fine it seems.  I’m always nervous about late arrivals since each day they miss is like missing an entire week in the regular school year.

We finished up some algebra review and took the district’s algebra proficiency quiz.  All students passed so that’s great news!

We then got into the very basics of Geometry, starting with just some definitions.  What is a line vs a segment vs a ray?  What are parallel vs skew lines?  Do planes intersect in a point or a line?  Things like that.  I’m still trying to find a better way to have them learn these definitions and basics without just telling them and doing a few examples.  I’d love to hear better ways if they’re out there.  I always have a few students who get it intuitively (or they’ve the class already so they at least remember the basics) and they just zone out.

I did find an activity from Elissa Miller’s blog that was a great way to get kids moving and reviewing these definitions.  I’m not as on top of things as her so I don’t have pretty foam circles, but I just wrote the letters on a half sheet of paper and taped them up.  Luckily a taller student came early to help me get the ones at the ceiling.  Only issue was that the room they have me in does not really have parallel and perpendicular walls…I told the kids to imagine we were in a rectangular prism but it was hard for some of the students to get that. In the activity, I also took out the figure so that kids had to move around the room.  Next time I’ll put it on color (or maybe get those cool foam circles) so the points are easier to see. Here’s what one wall looked like (it has three points on it – top, middle, and bottom – notice the need for color):

Hope whoever it is whose room I’m borrowing doesn’t mind the pic.

It was great to see the groups moving together and a bunch of kids said to me at the end that they really liked the activity because they now get more of how planes and lines work. 🙂 I also definitely annoyed some kids who tried to finish it really quickly and get me to check their answers.  I just plainly said they have to work with their group to figure out if they have all the right answers.  That’s just how things are gonna work in my class.

We also did one more round of Dan Meyer’s Personality Coordinates Ice Breaker with a new group.  For my one group of five today I put a point right in the middle of the graph to make it look like a 5 dice.  That group had a good time figuring out who could be “in the middle” for two different traits.

I also had one student laugh at my parallel lines are “never ever ever gonna be together” joke. I’ll take that as a win on a summer morning!

J’aime bien écrire les activités que je fais en classe.  Peut-être je devrais faire un blog « 180 » pour l’été.