Rigid Transformation Unit and Superhero Transformation Project

I’ll admit, I was really nervous about teaching Transformations in Honors Geometry. It was a topic I didn’t remember learning myself and I had never taught it before. I luckily had the #MTBoS and especially Michele Torres (@Teachmathtorr).

Lots of people suggested using things like patty paper and Miras to help learn the different transformations. Unfortunately, I do not have access to those and I’m trying to not buy a lot of things this year for my room, so I hope to one day be able to use those. Instead, I did a lot more Desmos than I ever thought I would! If you haven’t seen her Geometry Desmos Activity document yet, be prepared to blow your mind here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1m82reYFkQZtjnptTWo0_G0k6Kmbc7jjo-OFjT3l0wMY/edit?usp=drive_open&ouid=104053001916447058622

I also loved the advice to focus on points transforming instead of the entire shape – it really helped my students who were having trouble visualizing the transformations.

We started with a Polygraph. I’ve noticed that in an honors class, I don’t get too many that get it wrong when they’re trying to find the graph. Instead, they just use a ton of questions. I challenged them to try to use the least amount of questions.

We also started off with some Des-Patterns.

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 9.57.30 AM

After learning all the transformations, I think my learners would agree that this Multiple Transformations Check Desmos activity made the biggest impact. I had them work in pairs and had them do the worksheet first and then check with Desmos. This was really a turning point for the class. A lot that thought they didn’t know were able to confirm that they really did, and it was also much more apparent to them if a transformation was off than when they did it on paper. My struggle sometimes with having students check in Desmos is that when I try to project the summary, the names have to get so small as I zoom out so I can fit everyone. Sometimes I forget that working in pairs not only helps them learn and have awesome math conversations but also just makes them have fewer names to look for.

I somehow ended up with three free days before Fall Break and they had already taken a quiz over transformations. I wasn’t ready to start a new unit (congruent triangles) right before a two-week break. I had remembered Mandi Tolen’s Global Math Department Presentation and thought to look for anything she shared. She did not let me down.

I modified her assignment a bit. Here’s what I did:

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This was a blast for the learners to work on and for me to grade. My biggest advice is to encourage them to make a plan for their story first. A lot of them spent the entire first day just making their superhero and other images. Even though that really brings the project to a higher level, it also made them have to work on it outside of class and that was never my intention. Also, I learned that demonstrating some of the shape and arrange and grouping tools to the whole class at once isn’t good enough. Instead, make an expert at each group and have them be the ones to ask after that. Also, next year I would like to add a peer review component. I hope that will save some of the ones that decided to wait until the last minute or not do it at all. Any advice on what to do when you’re giving 3 days and nothing is getting done by one or two students? I don’t want to be too hover-y, but I also had my smiles turn to frowns a few times when I had to give a couple learners 3/35…

This twitter thread below has a bunch of pictures from my projects. These weren’t all 100%s and I only included one page of the comics, but I just loved how they were able to show their understanding in a cool creative way that most of them are really proud of.

La créativité de mes élèves m’impressionne!

Planning a Graph Transformation Unit

After Thanksgiving, we will be MAP testing for two days and then will have 11 days to complete the last unit of the semester in Math 2. This would give 4 days of final exam review. It is what all the other Math 2 teachers have. I would like to plan this before Thanksgiving so I can have everything ready just in case something happens that means I can’t do MAP testing (because we all know that technology can be difficult at the worst times). This is what they will have to do on their test:

  • Graph a transformation on an exponential function
  • Use the graph of a function to evaluate f(#)
  • Graph a transformation on a radical function
  • Use a radical function model to find when the population reaches a number
  • Graph a piecewise linear function (no evaluating)
  • State the piecewise definition for an absolute value function
  • Graph a transformation of another graph
  • Perform operations on functions (with a word problem thrown in there)

The other teachers are going straight lecturing from the textbook, two days on each section, two days of review, test on day 11. I will say right out that I don’t like lecturing for 8 days in a row. I’m determined to make my students actually think about functions over these two weeks. Take into account I have 50 minute periods, a class set of Chromebooks that take roughly 8 minutes to take out, login, and put away, a class set of TI-84s, and students that have never graphed anything more than lines and parabolas in standard form. I also just had the tech department put Desmos Test Mode on my Chromebook cart so I’m hoping that I can just have students use that on the test but we’ll see if my department approves.

What I want to do is:

Day 1: Discover exponential function properties (something with Desmos would seem fitting – Marbleslides?), make sure to write down what we’ve found, which should be:

Screen Shot 2016-11-20 at 7.56.10 PM.png

Day 2: Practice graphing exponential functions

Day 3: Compare transformations on exponential functions to radical functions. Possibly make a DAB. They should know this at the end:

Screen Shot 2016-11-20 at 8.01.49 PM.png

Day 4: Oh wait, these rules can be used for any function. Practice graphing transformations on functions in general.

Day 5: Graphing piecewise functions – I had done Lisa’s http://www.teachesmath.com/?p=60 in the past but I think because I have way less time I’ll try Amy’s method http://squarerootofnegativeoneteachmath.blogspot.com/2011/05/color-coding-for-sketching-piecewise.html because it seems pretty straight forward and fun.

Day 6: Practice graphing piecewise, try to throw some other functions in there so they keep practicing those. If time, do some Graphing Stories because those are fun and actually make you think about math from something besides a worksheet, but don’t really have a link to the test so not sure I’ll feel like I can do them.

Day 7: Operations on Functions – I’m intrigued by this from Sarah: http://mathequalslove.blogspot.com/2016/02/operations-with-functions-notes-and.html

Day 8: Practice more operations on functions, and graphing

Day 9: Review -probably Quizizz because their test is all multiple choice and they like it and I like it

Day 10: Review – go over most missed Quizizz problems, go over questions from study guide, if time do another game, like maybe Quizlet.live or Deal or No Deal or something small and low-key.

Day 11: Test

To be honest, I’m pretty down in the dumps about this unit in general. I feel like it has the potential to be really great but with the time and the way the test was made and the pushback I get from doing anything besides the textbook I feel like it won’t be so awesome. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic. I am really starting to miss the freedom I had to build my own curriculum in my old school. But then I think back at how stressed I was planning for 4 classes and I don’t know what I’d rather have.

Je suis désolée pour le pessimisme de ce post. Je suis un peu frustrée avec ma situation en ce moment.