I’m long overdue for a nice, juicy post, but I wanted to write this before this sense of accomplishment/efficacy fades. I’ve been struggling so with my Geometry classes, and wondering whether students were learning, whether I could help those who needed extra support during class, and even whether I could manage this classroom, so unused to tables are we both – the students and me.
But today, for some reason, was magical. We have been working on angle pairs created by parallel lines. I’ve borrowed liberally from Ms. Rubin at http://everybodyisageniusblog.blogspot.com (thank you, thank you, thank you!), but after almost a week of working on this topic, I wasn’t at all confident that my students could solve problems independently. And I knew that there were a couple in each class who were totally lost, unable to recognize anything in the sketches we were using.
Today, after our Throwback Thursday Find the Goof! warm-up (the results of which were not as promising as I had hoped), I went over the steps involved in solving algebraic problems involving angle pairs and parallel lines. I demonstrated 2 problems on the board, and left up some thorough sketches and notes on how to identify which type of angle pair was which. (I am sure my grammar is off; sorry to those of you for whom that is like nails on a blackboard). Then I gave the students the worksheet below. My instructions were to first identify the angle pair types in each sketch, check with tablemates, and then write equations to solve and check.
To my complete surprise (sadly?), the students were all on task, working quietly with occasional murmurs of checking and collaborating. I was able to intervene with several students using this wonderful worksheet from http://www.greatmathsteachingideas.com/:
And Michael S, with my favorite crazy dyed hair, who cuts when he is bored, worked diligently on challenging angle puzzles, asking for more when he was finished, and seeking guidance when necessary.
It was a total score in my book, so I’m documenting this for my own reference and reflection.