I missed out on Week 1, but better late than never!
My favorite class is Geometry, and my favorite lesson so far this year has come from that class.
On the “mathteachers” subreddit, someone shared a link for this cool little interactive site on geometric constructions.
There are several beautiful things about this site.
- It is completely open-ended. You can start with the first challenge, the last challenge, or you can just play around.
- It doesn’t have instructions on how to use it, and I didn’t give my students any. I let them figure it out themselves and help their neighbors. I saw some really great “aha” moments this way.
- Every time you complete a challenge, it saves it for you so you can clear the screen and start over without losing anything.
- It is challenging without being impossibly difficult, and challenging enough that my students were engaged for the entire class period.
My assignment for this day was self-differentiating and fun to grade. I gave them a Google Doc worksheet to complete by taking screenshots of their work. Here are few samples from the “freestyle” section:
We did the lesson after we completed our lessons on compass/straightedge constructions, so students already knew how to construct an equilateral triangle, a hexagon, and a square. The other challenges were new to them.
My only complaint about this site, at least when using it on the Chromebook, was that the zoom in/zoom out is very touchy, especially when students are using the trackpad for their mouse. Several students zoomed out too far accidentally, then moved their screen and weren’t able to find their spot again. It wasn’t detrimental, but it was a little frustrating for a couple of students.
At the end, we discussed how ancient geometers might have used their compasses and straightedges to create artistic designs as well as practical applications. Students had some great insights and ideas. Straight up high level Bloom’s Taxonomy stuff here! I wish my principal had been there to see it!
Reasons this lesson was my favorite:
- It was student-led with only minimal guidance from me.
- It was engaging and fun.
- It was crazy easy to plan.
Really, what else can you ask for?