Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 24: Classifying Angles

More review than I had expected. I had originally come up with an idea to provide a bunch of angles of various sizes on laminated cards and have students sort them into groups. As many groups as they wanted and using whatever classification scheme they could come up with. We would then share approaches from different groups and lead the discussion to a consensus of ideas revolving around acute, obtuse, right, and straight. I was even prepared to allow the class to call those groupings whatever they wanted (big, small, perfect, line, whatever). 

But it turned out that angle classification is one of the few things that has been retained from prior math classes. So we quickly reviewed what the classifications are and moved directly into the practice with U2 WS3. 

Most students could work through the classification just fine, but working with angles and segments that have been broken into pieces was a challenge. Every year it is and every year it surprises me. Often, students will think that it's so easy they don't need to write an equation to solve for the unknowns, but when they're given more challenging problems they don't have *any* type of tested approach and will usually quit before they even try. 

I don't think students struggle setting up the equations once they see a few examples, but they do struggle with identifying their own limits and seeing that what might be easy today is about to get a heckuva lot more complicated and that our goal is to set in place skills & procedures that can be applied to ANY situation. 

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