Sunday, November 2, 2014

Geometry Scope and Sequence Realignment Reflection

This year I made the brave decision to begin Geometry with our unit on three-dimensional measurement.  I've considered this for the past two years.  Since last year moving the Coordinate Geometry unit to the beginning of the year was a success, I decided to try moving the measurement unit to the very beginning of the course.

My reasons for this are:
  • This unit encompasses the topics that students expect when beginning Geometry.  The definitions at the beginning, the lines and angles that are not parts of actual shapes, etc. seem to really bother students.  It's all the foundational knowledge of Geometry, but students don't see it as Geometry right away.  They expect to see complete shapes, and expect to calculate perimeter, area, and volume of shapes because this is what they've experienced in the past.
  • This unit relies on basic, foundational Algebra which serves to reinforce and review the key concepts of applying formulas and solving equations.  This was the key to my decision.  My students had multiple Algebra teachers the previous year, and their Algebra skills that I assessed the first days of school proved that their skills are weak.
For my reasons, the move was successful.  Students were able to practice basic problem solving, and they've shown improvement there.  I heard less complaints that "we're not doing Geometry."  However, there were some issues that arose from moving this unit to the beginning.  The main issue is that I was limited in the practice problems that I could assign.  Our textbook has awesome practice problems that include review from previous topics, but we have yet to learn those topics, so they were unusable.  (For now.  I have to remember to include these problems when I go back to review later in the year.)

Overall, I noticed that students struggled with this unit the same way the students did when I taught it last year.  I need to find more hands-on activities for this unit.  I feel that I really missed out on incorporating great learning experiences in this unit.  I'll have to make finding activities for this unit one of my goals for this summer.

For this unit, my Interactive Notebook pages were not much different from the Measurement unit pages last year.  For now, I am not planning to post about these pages.

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