Geometry Project Runway

One of my favorites lesson this year was Project Runway. When I think of teaching and learning geometry I think of the most boring lessons, some of the theorems can be hands-on, but to me patty paper is not hands on. It's visual, not interactive or engaging.

We were finishing the very first lesson in circles. Students just learned about chords, radius, tangents, centers, and secants. We reviewed to start the lesson what each vocabulary word was and what it meant.

I put students in groups, you can have them choose their own groups, this class couldn't handle that though. Plus, I was still in my visibly random groups phase (#VRG).

I played the introduction to Project Runway on YouTube. https://youtu.be/cqQrdkv-WTo

I told the students you are given 20 minutes to put together a piece of clothing for a fashion show on Project Runway. You will need to include different vocabulary words from our circles unit as your creation makes its way down the runway. You need to include: secant, tangent, chord, radius.

The second part was that they needed to select a model from their group to model down the runway. The two other designers will point out each of the properties of a circle. At the end they needed upload a picture of model on Seesaw and label each of the parts.


 All of the students finished in the 20 minutes. They worked extremely hard the entire time and even though they had trouble finding a path to go down and work as a group, it was a learning experience for everyone.

Here are some of the models as they go down the runway. The students convinced me to play Beyonce softly in the background.

 


One of the things I need to work on this activity for next year is to give students planning time in the beginning for them to gather their thoughts. Secondly, tell students that they can not write on their project runway clothing.

Cutting Geometric Solids with Crafty Cut

I knew there was a better way to teach what cutting geometric solids looked like and wanted it to be more hands-on and visual. I felt the normal stand-up lecture or worksheet wasn't enough for students to learn. The first thought I had was a hands on activity with Play-Doh and forming shapes. Then I stumbled across Crafty Cut.

(P.S. Make sure to use the link above or get the one with the P in the bottom right hand corner.)

Crafty Cut is a gamified version of cutting geometric solids. There are a bunch of different modes, but the free "unlocked" version only gives you Cut Mode (Most Important), Combine, and a Create Mode.

The way I did it was 1st day students played all the way through Cut Mode on their own or if they got stuck they could ask their neighbors. If they finished early they could work on combine mode, which is a little more difficult to get all 3 stars. But in Cut Mode they are given different 3D shapes and have to make different 2D shapes cutting it. Students liked the problem solving in the app.

One of the first ones you get in Easy Mode is to cut a rectangle from a Cylinder, here are some screenshots from the game.






It was a different app that let students explore cutting geometric solids instead of the typical lesson.

Is it Linear? With Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are all the rage right now. At my school I would say maybe 10% have them, one thing with fidget spinners that my students are using right now is an app called Finger Spinner. The point of the game is you get 5 tries to reach the highest number of spins. With each number of spins you get certain coins which you can upgrade your fidget spinner such as increasing speed or greasing the wheels.

Introduce the topic is by having out an actual fidget spinner and spin it twice and ask the students were there the same amount of spins both times? Some will say yes since it is the same fidget spinner and some will say no, because it determines how hard you spin it.

Then do the same thing with the app, projecting it on the whiteboard. Spin it once and then twice. Since it counts the number of spins it will be easier to ask if they were the same.

The next question is how many times would I have to spin it to get to 100 spins?

 

I have been using this handout from Estimation180: http://www.estimation180.com/blog/estimation-180-handout to have students record their answers in one place.

I want students to look at the data and see that each one is about the same in number of spins and looks linear. Using the whiteboard I want to project some student work start from the basic ones to the student work where they have a linear graph sketched (w/ average). Then have the student explain the processes they went through.

The last part is to get students using the app. My question to them is once you upgrade a part of the fidget spinner does it stay linear? What if you keep upgrading? What if you alternate upgrading? How does it effect the number of spins?

My goal next year is to incorporate more modeling and more hands-on uses of math concepts.


Geometrical Dodgeball

I am not the worlds greatest geometry teacher. In fact I am not the best in the school that I teach at.

One thing I dislike about teach geometry are the number of theorems and how old school geometry is in the way of teaching it. I know I hear it coming already about patty paper and all the things you can do with it, but it's not the same. There is no real life situation when you have to know the Central angle theorem. 

One thing I have been trying to do more of is getting students outside and playing games. Right now we are learning about polyhedra and their surface area and volume. Right now we are trying to remember the names of different polyhedra with different sides, triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, etc. Some students remember it from 7th and 8th grade, but those have become high school standards now in Nebraska. The way we learned this was by playing two groups of geometrical dodgeball, we played this outside, but would work much better in a gym.


The way the game is played is everyone is assigned a number and stands in a circle, one person throws the ball up into the air and calls out a number, when that person touches it they yell stop. All players stop and they get 2 free jumps to get closer. If they get hit, they are out, if it is caught or misses the thrower is out.

The way I mathematized it was at the beginning of the round they had to name the polygon they formed if someone was out and named it first they got to jump back in. I played it with two groups outside and worked well since there were shortened periods.

Using Elink for Self Paced Learning



These last two weeks have been crazy with the ACT test, MAP Testing, and being gone for soccer. One new tool that I have found is elink.io this tool allows me to create a place where students can access videos, sites, and anything else with a link. One of my goals from this year was to have students more in charge of their own learning. I want them to be able to take information I give them and be able to apply it accordingly, next year I will do a better job of giving students more opportunities to do this on their own and find videos that they listen to and engage with.



The one thing I love about elink is that the site looks good, it looks like it wasn't done by me, but more like a professional.

Since I was testing about 5-10 students per class, the other students had this worksheet to do in class.

It introduces students to adding/subtracting and multiplying matrices by a scalar. This is normally a lesson that takes a day, but really shouldn't.

I gave the students this link: https://elink.io/9b9c4

As I got the students started on the MAP test, I told them the link would help them with their worksheet and to take notes on each video or save it to their iPad for later.

Most students only asked questions if they were doing it correctly, now looking back I should add videos that explain odds to see if students are correct or are on the right path.

elink.io would be a great tool for flipped learning.