Saturday, October 12, 2013

Unit 2 Reflection

I wanted to share some things that I learned about my last unit.  My first unit was interesting because I did all of the logic statements as its own unit.  Logic will not be included in the Common Core Geometry curriculum, so I wanted to isolate the topic to make it easier to remove for next year.  The logic unit went well, there is still one misunderstanding (that logically equivalent means anything that sounds like the original statement - which is never the contrapositive), but I keep reviewing it through the Do Now.  I also included a logic question on my unit 2 test.

Unit 2 had its strengths and weaknesses, and as a result I've learned so many great lessons.  Firstly, my success was moving Constructions to unit 2.  Last year I taught constructions during my tenth unit, which happened in March before and after spring break.  With constructions toward the end of the year, it felt like a little something extra that was tacked on.  This year teaching constructions toward the beginning had a few benefits.  (1)  Putting compasses in students' hands right at the beginning helps to send the message, "The math we are learning this year is going to be different."  Students transitioning from Algebra to Geometry really need to understand that, so I look forward to putting constructions first next year.  (2)  My favorite thing about putting constructions first was that it helped me to illustrate the basic Geometry postulates (two points can form lines, where lines intersect they form a point, etc.).  I sincerely believe its helped students to achieve better understanding.  They way I ordered my unit was to teach a topic, then the next day (or after a day of practice) teach the construction that went with it.  (For example, I taught parallel lines for two days and then taught how to construct parallel lines.)

My failure this unit was teaching angle pair relationships and the angle relationships formed by parallel lines and a transversal.  There are two reasons why this was such a disaster.  (1)  I tried to hold students accountable for remembering this topic from 8th grade.  I knew it was a risk, but I hoped students would be able to activate their prior knowledge.  Instead, I got to hear about they already knew that they didn't learn everything they were supposed to in the past years, which is a whole other issue.  (2) I was so focused on having students put these into their Interactive Notebooks, that I missed the opportunity really teach these topics.  Overall, Interactive Notebooks have been off to a slow start.  Students aren't into a solid routine with them yet.  Tuesday, I'm going to have them start a routine and go through it with them step-by-step. 

Our next unit is on Coordinate Geometry.  After that, our fourth unit is Transformations.  Transformations will lead into Congruent Triangles, and this is where I will start proofs.  This is where I will seize the opportunity to review (reteach) angle pair relationships.  I know many teachers start proofs during their Lines and Angles unit, but a retired teacher that subs in our district advised me to start with proving congruent triangles, and then go back to do the line and angle proofs afterward.  It worked for him for 42 years, so I'm willing to give it a try.

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