The One with My Writing


Solving problems with similarity. The writing on this one is largely mine, which says something about this unit and how much access kiddos might feel they have to it. That being said, I hope they’re starting to make some connections to scale factors and multiplication. I also need to make more clear the idea of whether a shape is already similar or whether we’re trying to prove the shape is similar.

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The One with My Drawings


I’d say something about student work and messiness, but…this is my work from my full class demo. It gets the idea of dilation across. We struggled with dilating shapes from an external point last year, so this year, we focused on other ways to dilate shapes from a point on the shape itself. We had more luck with rulers and graphs. (And then there was a shark paper, where kiddos tried to dilate a giant shark. Wish I had some photos of that)

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What do you notice? What do you wonder?

The One with the Angle Measurements


We do some more work measuring angles, but this time with protractors. It feels like quite a few kiddos have some traction and understanding here. We do some more individual work with measuring lines and angles, which feels worthwhile.

Fun fact: the Spanish word for “protractor” is “transportador”. Wild.2017-02-05 00.54.21What do you notice? What do you wonder?

The One with the Angle-o-Meters


Is it clickbait if the content and photos don’t actually match the title?

Back from Professional Development to start talking about angles (so that we can talk about similarity, eventually). We measure with angles and give directions using turns and degrees.

Teaching similarity is still a bit of a mystery to me, but we get some good thinking done about sides and angles and how they change.2017-02-02 16.53.09-1What do you notice? What do you wonder?

The One with the Dilated Logo


Our similarity unit doesn’t really have a project. We had a picture project where we dilated candy bar wrappers when we taught the course 2 years ago, but it was more a project than mathematics (and they aren’t mutually exclusive, though we didn’t strike that balance here), so we shortened it to one day. Fascinating to watch students take art and grapple with how to make it bigger. Not pictured: Sailor Moon or an elephant.2017-01-31 08.41.08-2What do you notice? What do you wonder?

The One with the Stewie Reading Guide


Starting similarity. It’s crazy what we remember from years prior. For me, it’s this reading guide with Stewie where we talk about realism and how we can make things bigger or smaller. At least one kiddo a year refers to Stewie’s head as a football.

We were able to condense the reading guide a bit. Always good to see some progress from years past.2017-01-30-17-36-24-1What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 125: The One with the Tangent/Inverse Tangent Stations

Why, hello there.

We’re midway through a unit on right triangle trigonometry. There were some struggles in the beginning, mostly with the procedural process of solving ratios and estimating scale factors (tricky for kiddos with interrupted formal education), but it feels like things are back on track.

Photo: Tangent and Inverse Tangent Stations

Tangent and Inverse Tangent StationsHaving learned about tangents and inverse tangents last week (the latter on a Friday, where many kiddos were absent on a field trip), we decided to have the kiddos work through a series of stations. They had to draw pictures, write the parts they knew (reference angle, adjacent side, opposite side, etc) and then solve for the missing side or angle. Still running into issues with solving ratios, but we’re making progress.

I’m also helped by an instructional coach who wisely reminded me to make expectations clear and reminded me that if I’m in a mood, my students are probably going to be in a mood. I know this (ostensibly) but it’s always nice to be reminded.

Related but unrelated:

  • Daylight Savings Time could not get here fast enough. I know John Oliver and most of Facebook disagrees with me (past me disagrees with me, even), but it does wonders for my mental state to get home and go for a run while it’s still light out.
  • By coincidence, I have 3 sub days in the next 3 weeks before spring break. Which is simultaneously great and…terrifying.
  • Giving a unit quiz and a unit project means…a lot of grading. Which, I knew. But still…