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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Good Dose of Fun in Geometry Class Offers Lively Access to Content for Students Who Struggle in Math

For poor readers and many English language learners, the language of geometry can be overwhelming at times.  Though these students can often times with scaffolding handle simple geometry number problems, they struggle with the language of word problems.  The frustration in encountering those "brick walls" often times leads to an unbroken string of poor grades. 

So, what is a teacher to do to provide positive access to the language of geometry?  How about creating a scenario where a background in geometry is needed to build a city?  The problems which will surface here will offer students multiple ways to bring in architecture and civil engineering.  Students in teams of mixed ability will need to basically create the word problem (how to construct a city-roads, bridges, apartments, etc.) and then as a team map out potential solutions.  Once this is done, they are ready to go to: 

BUILDING BLOCKS:  GEOMETRY & MATH-MINDED (SIM) CITY BUILDING  (lessons, planning sheets, questions, etc. are included)

Teachers will delight in seeing the transformation within students as they move from a state of failure (the weak ones that is) to one of imagination and creativity as they put geometry to work in the "real world."  As students take charge in designing this city, they will see members of the team as co-planners and the teacher as a guide.  To build a viable city, the rules of geometry need to be followed and upon completion of the city will come a deeper understanding of how problems dealing with geometry are solved outside the textbook. 

Also, though teachers must register, the site is free:)

Denise

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