Day 12: Finishing Quadrilaterals and Deal or No Deal Review

Today was the last day of learning new material before we kick into reviewing for the final and taking the final (no school July 3). It was kind of rushed. Next year I will do less algebra review at the beginning. Not sure why I decided to do that this year. Last year I did it because I had a sub the first two days (my school was still in session from emergency days) and didn’t really want her to start teaching the real geo stuff. This year I just didn’t want to think that far ahead…

Anyway, we started off with a quiz on what we learned yesterday and then got into properties of special parallelograms, trapezoids, and kites. I really like this unit because there’s a lot of fun work you can do, but I know it’s also one of the most difficult for the students because they have to memorize so many properties. I try to give them as much practice as possible. I start with giving them a ton of different practice worksheets. I let them choose three out of five that they need to complete, which gives a mix of quadrilaterals in the coordinate plane, proving different quadrilaterals, and using properties of the quadrilaterals. They can do the ones they want more practice with.

I then have a “Two Truths and a Lie” for quadrilaterals (download below). This activity consists of students coming up with three statements about a quadrilateral. Two must be true and the other must be false. The goal is to try to come up with two truths and a lie that will fool the rest of the class. I let them come up with some for a few minutes and then they can share with their classmates. I also let the students share a Two Truths and a Lie about themselves for some extra fun.

I also have a Rally Coach Activity (download below). Students are in pairs and have a Partner A and Partner B. The students take turns giving some properties and the other student has to figure out which one quadrilateral it is. Similar to Two Truths and a Lie and short and sweet, but it’s more practice.

I also did one of my favorite games that I call Deal or No Deal. I got the idea after student teaching from another teacher that graduated with me and it’s always made class fun with very little prep. All you need is a worksheet. You then have some sort of prize (candy, sticker, pride, extra credit, hw pass, etc.) or multiple prizes that is hidden behind a number – I say that they have 12 briefcases and they have to guess which one has the prize in it. Today I had a major and a minor prize. Then the students get to work in groups on their worksheet and try to get through as much as they can. You give students guesses at where the prize is based on how many problems or sections they get done as a group. I had a lengthy review packet that had many different sections. I told them that when the group has two sections done, they get a guess. I do this in groups so that students have more motivation to work (hopefully) and to reinforce group work. Students are not required, however, to all have the same guesses in the group. For instance, if Mary, John, and Jack have earned 3 guesses for their group, Mary can guess that the prize is in briefcase 1, 2, 3, John can guess 6, 8, 10, and Jack can guess, 3, 4, 5 if they want. What I love about this is that it transforms a worksheet into something fun, and students start to think about which problems/sections would be best for them to solve first. They do some reflecting about their own skills to help them get more guesses, and they also get a little probability in there to see that the more guesses they earn, the better chance they have of guessing correctly. I love that this also takes no prep besides the worksheet. I took post-its and cut them in half and under two of them (6 and 10) put stars for prizes. That’s it! And the class is engaged and begging you to get over to their group to check their sections the whole time. Somehow it also stays engaging every time.

Deal or No Deal  Deal or No Deal Prizes

Les activités les plus simples sont, quelquefois, les meilleures!

Day 11: Millionaire Review and Starting Quadrilaterals

Today was the most Monday-est of Mondays. The kids were zombies, I was probably a little zombieish, it was rainy all morning. I also didn’t have something with a lot of movement going today, which maybe would have helped. I had two things that were more interactive, but it was not enough…

So we started with a review of the chapter on special segments in triangles that we had finished before the weekend. My mistake was expecting them to be able to jump right in and remember everything. We did go over the homework, but kids were still rusty. Is that my fault for going too fast when teaching the stuff, or was it because it was 8am on a summer Monday? Probably some of both. But I tried to do a review game I’ve enjoyed before that I call Math Millionaire. It’s like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I have a bunch of multiple choice review questions that I will show one at a time to the class. The goal is for the class to get a certain amount in a row correct for a prize (I picked 6 in a row for today). They are in pairs and have to quietly work through the problem. I do pairs so that hopefully every student can feel some confidence in their answer after discussing with their partner. When an adequate amount of time has passed or all pencils are down, I call on a random student (using or Triptico) and that student tells me their answer. If they’re right, they keep going for the prize. If they’re wrong, we talk about it and they start back at 0 in a row. I love this, also, because if they get it correct I now have an expert on that problem that can explain it to the class. Usually the class gets a prize once or twice. Today, not so much. It wasn’t really that the kids were always getting the wrong answers – it was more that it always got to the 5th or 6th student and that student just wasn’t trying with their partner and would just guess. The class got kind of angry. Looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have allowed those kids to participate, but I thought maybe they’d see the benefit in buying in at least so they didn’t get the whole class against them. I’ve never really had that happen. I’m blaming it on the Monday…

We then had the test on the unit and then started to look at quadrilaterals. This is the last unit of the semester and I’m a little more crunched for time on it than I usually am. I started with a discovery activity that took the students through properties of different quadrilaterals (download below). I had all students work for about 45 minutes in their measurements and would always keep pushing students to make more than one observation. I then had each group present one quadrilateral where they had to tell the class what they noticed and what made that one special. It was good, but always takes longer than I expect to do all the measurements. It helps students really see that the properties of different quadrilaterals are true. I wish there were even more examples to measure, but then it would take even more time. It does save time going over the different properties later like their textbook wants to do, so I guess that’s a tradeoff.

C’était vraiment un lundi…quelquefois, il n’y a rien d’autre à dire.

Day 7: Place Your Bets Review and Congruency

I thought yesterday was a bit boring. Today was fun.

We started by practicing graphing and writing equations for parallel and perpendicular lines. Regular practice stuff. Nothing amazing. A student who missed class yesterday (which is a pretty big deal) was working with a volunteer tutor that just happened to be in the math wing that day so it was a good time for class practice while he could catch up.

We then reviewed the parallel lines and angle sum unit with a Place Your Bets game. I had a 10-question PowerPoint (download below) just with questions and answer choices. I was used to playing this game with a sheet where they would put their work and wager with numbers. I’ll put that below to download as well but it’s for sure not as fun as the way that Sarah Hagan does Place Your Bets. I of course forgot to take pictures but it looked similar to the ones Sarah has. Except I realized this morning that the room I am using for summer school is completely bare so I do not have chips or unit cubes or anything small and plentiful. So I improvised and used ripped up colored paper. That was a mistake but also smart…I first had the kids just rip the papers up into small pieces and didn’t specify how many they needed. I probably should have set a limit because the kids went kind of bonkers with this…I also remember seeing that Sarah set a limit for how much could be bet each round, and thought 25 was a good amount. That was a lot. I ended up getting different colors of paper and making green (what we started with) equal to 1, pink was 5, red was 10, and purple was 25. It was super fun but took also a lot longer than I expected. I actually only got through 6 questions in 45 minutes but then wanted to have the kids do some practice in their notes before our test. I know we didn’t get through a lot of review but the kids had great ideas and I learned something new about this game. Even though it was long, kids were all saying they wished they could do more, so I’m going to try to incorporate it without so much scrambling later.

We then had our second test. I gave back their quiz, which once again had no points marked. I think that since I gave them back when they were still doing group work, it brought out a little more discussion on their mistakes. I forgot to do the thing where they grade themselves like I said I would before, but I liked how they just were talking about how they did and maybe stopping that would have been bad.

I then went into our next unit and introduced congruent figures. I started them with this Illustrative Mathematics task that I found from Kate Nowak. We were able to have an awesome discussion about what it must mean for figures to be congruent, especially with Set C that has to be “flipped”. At first all groups were just eyeballing. I did a quick Plickers assessment for each set to see if the class thought that the shapes were congruent. All sets except A had a disagreement within the class. I said that we have to agree before we move on. The kids went back to discussing/arguing about the shapes in front of them, but then a student told me that it was hard for him to tell if some angles were really the same just from the looks. I asked him if there was anything that would help him make it easier to tell. He said a protractor, another student said she wanted scissors to see if they fit on top of each other. It’s funny how these ideas catch on like wildfire. Eventually all students had a tool – protractor, ruler, or scissors. Talk about Using Appropriate Tools Strategically (CCSS MP5)!!! We then did Plickers again and only had a disagreement on the flipping of C. So then I told them the definition of congruent figures and we had another discussion…at the end of the day everyone was agreeing on all sets! What a great way to end the day!


Nous sommes d’accord! Nous sommes d’accord! 🙂

Day 5: Parallel Lines and Transversals

Today was one of those days I wish the principal could come in and observe all the time. It started with passing back their first test. I am still not putting grades on their assessments, like in this video from Ashli Black. I write lots of feedback and then a note on the top of their test of what they did well and what they could still work on. The kids are still asking how many points I took off for each thing, but I did hear a couple good conversations between students about the problems. Next time, I may do something more like this (from Emily Steinmetz) to get the students reengaged in their work.

I then got into parallel lines cut by transversals. To explain interior and exterior, I talk about how the two parallel (or not parallel) lines are like the edges of a river and the transversal is like a bridge going over the river. This helps some students see more of why the angle pairs are named that way. I went through a few examples on paper but then I moved to giving out painters tape. We were gearing up for Dance Dance Transversal, but first had them do a little angle pair identification with a partner. I had them help me move all the desks out of the way, gave all of them three pieces of painters tape, and told them to make their two parallel lines and transversal. I modeled what I wanted it to sort of look like in terms of size, and because it was painters tape I could ask students to make theirs bigger or smaller really easily.

So first I told them that they were going to work with a partner to identify the angle pairs that I give them. I shouted out a bunch of angle pairs one at a time – I even threw in vertical, supplementary, and adjacent. After I shouted the name, each student had to put on foot on an angle and between the partners they should have been showing me the angle pair correctly. It was pretty fun already because the students would start with their foot in one place but then the other partner would change or they would both change and have to decide on where they want to go. I wouldn’t move on until all the groups had it correct. Luckily my summer school class is only 17 kids so it was easy to scan the 8 groups (one group of three) to see if they were correct.


Then we got into the real fun. Dance Dance Transversal. I had seen it from Julie, Kate, and Jessica. I was so excited to try it out in class and had told the kids the day before to be ready to dance the next day. That definitely got the kids a little curious. And I liked the PowerPoints that I saw out there, but I needed to adjust them a little. A little aside about my brother now – he’s been playing DDR or ITG for years now. We have a mat in our house and he frequently goes to the dancing competitions. He’s one of the intense ones that actually uses that bar behind him and everything. So even though what I saw out there was fine, I had to live up to my DDR playing brother’s expectations and really have it look like the real thing. I also wanted to add in vertical angles since I have felt like in the past my students have always forgotten about those. I did my best with this PowerPoint: Dance Dance Transversal. Each round will last about 90 seconds. I added in a practice round because I had comments from class that it started too fast. The words are covered by a box on the bottom of the slide and you can adjust how fast they go or how many their are by looking at the animations (or transitions depending on your PowerPoint version) and adjusting the timing. I know there is a way to have audio start playing when you advance to another slide but my personal computer that I use in summer school does not consistently have working sound, so I just played music off of my phone. I used Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Rude by Magic, Magic by B.o.B. and Rivers Cuomo, Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, Shut Up & Dance by Walk the Moon, Want to Want Me by Jason Derulo, and the first few seconds of Honey, I’m Good by Andy Grammer. I didn’t expect to go too far into the lightning rounds and the kids agreed – it was too fast. I will admit, it is very hard to find songs that actually will line up. You need to have songs play at the exact right time and the bpm should be 96 for 5 second transitions, 160 for 3 seconds, 240 for 2 seconds, and 480 for 1 second, or some multiple/factor of that. The timing didn’t really get to my students, though.

Because I had to play the music off my phone, I couldn’t take video and couldn’t take great pictures, but here are some:

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I also tried out this QR Code Scavenger Hunt that I got from Shelley Carranza. Best comment from a student was “I love that you don’t expect us to just sit at our desks for four hours.” I loved the worksheet that Shelly provided because it required students to really think more about the problem even after they found the right one from the clues.

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J’aime bien quand je trouve les activités extraordinaire qui forcent les étudiants à bouger.

Day 4: Bingo Review and First Test

Today started by continuing to look at basic composite area/perimeter problems. All that was used was circles, rectangles, and triangles. I gave students one of those Geo Joke worksheets with the corny jokes. The students loved it! I remember loving them too, even though the jokes are so bad. I feel like it has something to do with the answers being there so they can immediately check if their answer was correct or not.

We then started looking at special angle pairs – vertical, supplementary, complementary. We did our first proof to prove that angles supp to the same angles are congruent and I didn’t force a 2-column proof on them. I actually like the 2-column proof because it is very clear that every statement needs a reason, but I also went through four years of being a math major and if you did a two-column proof in a 400-level math class you would just get laughed at. So I accept paragraphs or bullets as long as each statement has a clear reason.

I also handed back their first quiz and didn’t have a score or any points on it a la Ashli Black. I saw this video last summer and was absolutely amazed at this concept of not putting down a grade for the student, but was way too scared to try it in my school. In summer school I have a little less stress from administration and parents. In this district they want it to be clear to students how many points each question is worth, so the students could figure out probably what their grade approximately was, but I just wrote a lot of feedback. Even with the quiz only being 2 pages, 6 questions and me only having 17 quizzes to grade, it still took me a solid hour to finish them all. I wish I had a stamp for the commonly used feedback items. I will admit, I was a little bummed by the lack of shock and response from my students. I know it’s summer school but they were still just silent getting them back. A kid asked if their grade was in the gradebook and I had to say that it would be. Maybe it won’t make such a positive shift away from grades. Maybe it was just because it was the first assessment. Maybe it was because it was 9am on a summer day. We will see how they react when they get their test back tomorrow with no grade. This time, I will not go over the answers to the test – that also could have been why there was little reaction.

We did our first review game – Math Bingo. I would share but it was pretty bad. I mean the kids were all over it – once again, it’s like an answer bank given to them. But I totally messed up their answer bank. I had made copies of an old bingo sheet I had from last year without remembering that I had changed it so only about half the answers were the same. I still had a few bingos but it stressed kids out that their answers weren’t showing up and ultimately might have hurt more than helped some of them. Oh well…I can’t beat myself up over it.

Quelquefois, ca ne va pas comme tu t’attends, mais tu apprends de ces moments.