The World of Geometry

Today was the first day back after Winter Break.  In math we went back to a unit we had briefly started before we left–2D geometry and measurement.  You just never know how kids will be the first day back into the routine of school after being gone for so long, but my kiddos totally rocked it!

We started a unit from the book Differentiation in Practice by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Caroline Cunningham Eidson, which I have used before with other classes.  I love the way it’s tiered so that everyone can engage at the level they need, and the lessons are written in such a clear way that I can just jump right in!

We started with the first lesson today, which began with a rating scale to get them thinking about how well they know geometry.  We made a class chart that looked like this:

Obviously we already feel like we know a lot about geometry! That will mean we can go to great places and expand our learning to topics we might not otherwise have been ready for!  What fun we will have!

After we completed our rating scale, we went ahead with a List-Group-Label activity related to geometry terms.  In small groups at their tables, they first listed words they thought of that were related to geometry.  Remember when we made Wordles in math last month? Well they used those to help get their thinking started.

Lauren references her Wordle to help with geometry terms for her list today.

Taylor and Abigail work together on their list.

Harry and Evan have a variety of polygons on their list of geometry terms.

After their groups listed terms, then their job was to group these terms into categories.   They did this on paper first, and then we started a class web that we’ll finish up tomorrow:

While what we were doing today was not hard, and was based on prior knowledge, they really dug in and did some great work.  If only you could see the videos I took of a conversation on rotational symmetry from Harry and Evan’s group!  I will have to find a way to be able to upload it–such an amazing example of students building on each others’ learning and working with misconceptions together.  I just got stand by and watch.

More to come as we dig deeper into this unit.  Cannot wait to share what happens next! 🙂

Wordles in Math

We’ve been busy this week.  We’re always busy, but I think for some reason we’ve crammed more than usual into the last fives days.  And it seems that a lot of what we did was new.  And very cool.  And involved technology.

We tried making Wordles again on Monday.  It was the start of a new unit on 2D geometry in math, so I needed to get a feel for what they remember from 4th grade.  Rather than do a pencil/paper pre-assessment, I had them create a Wordle to show me their background knowledge for this unit.  We brainstormed some words we might use and explain in our Wordles, and then got to work.

I should stop saying I’m amazed with their final products–by this point they’ve shown me countless times that they can do amazing work.  But that’s what I was: amazed.  And I learned much about what they already knew.


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