Day 60: Patty Paper versus Rubber Bands

2013-11-13 13.38.11Our transformation unit continues. Students spent most of today’s class practicing transformations. At this point, students seem to be stronger at translating than they are with dilating. I’m not sure if it’s because of the tools (patty paper versus rubber bands) or because dilation seems like a bigger change to wrap one’s head around. Flipping was a problematic word, but once I demonstrated (by flipping over a sheet of paper), students caught on pretty quick.

The blue paper is from an activity that Curriculum Partner designed last night on a whim. It gave students a chance to practice more transformations and to talk about naming shapes. I tried it with various amounts of structure and direct instruction. One group imploded when two group members started arguing. I think it sidetracked me more than I would have liked, though I figured out (I think) that one group member felt the other wasn’t pulling their weight while the other group member felt left behind. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Days 58 and 59: Gabriel’s Reflection, Mateo’s Transformations and the Patty Paper Men


Gabriel's Reflection

Friday: Gabriel’s Reflection

Mateo's transformations

Tuesday: Mateo’s transformations

It’s been a crazy-packed two days. Friday, we had short periods (40 minutes instead of 65). Plus an assembly. Plus observers. Plus finishing the Mobile Project (mostly).

Today, we had normal periods. But we balanced the mobiles (finished or not). And changed seats. And started a new unit on transformations. The day after a 3-day weekend. Where our soccer team won the city championships.

So, crazy-packed.

Given Friday’s craziness, class was average (which was tough considering all the potential of Thursday). One of the tree-truck students was absent. Students didn’t work with the urgency I would have hoped for. Other students did work for students who weren’t finished rather than helping them (we talked about this as much as I could, but I was spread pretty thin at that point).

Friday’s photo is Gabriel’s homework reflection. Gabriel came in with his homework. He hadn’t finished it in on time and was still working on it when I passed him in the hallway. We talked about the graph he was drawing and I told him I’d be around if he needed help. He came in five minutes later to turn in the homework.

“You didn’t finish your reflection,” I told him. (Because I’m a stickler for completion. And because students should think about what they’re doing.) I half-expected him to shrug and hand it back to me.

“OK,” he said, with a shrug (’cause adolescence). He came back five minutes later with it filled out, which I thought was cool.

Today’s photo is Mateo’s classwork. We used patty paper to transfer (translate) a parallelogram and a rubberband to stretch (dilate) a trapezoid. We’re not using the highest academic language, but I believe this compromise gives our students access to what we are doing. I never say “isometric transformation” or “dilate”, so I’m not sure if my students would remember it on the first day of a new unit.

As a side note, when I handed out the patty paper (a type of paper for hamburger patties, hence the name), one student said, “oh, I thought you were going to give us hamburgers.” Another student cut theirs into the following (though I can see their transferred shape on it, so no complaints, I guess).

Patty Paper Men

Patty Paper Men


Grades are due tomorrow at 3pm (don’t worry; it’s more of a progress report). The last two people out of the coffee shop tonight were me and a student from the school where I student taught last year.