My colleague and friend, Danyelle, has done this kite construction project for a number of years during summer school. She first saw it at a conference many years ago. We decided to try it last year during the school year and then the pandemic closed school and we didn’t get to do it. When the time came to complete the project this year, we realized all of the information Danyelle had for the project was destroyed in our black mold fiasco. We did a Google search for tetrahedral kites and realized there are many resources for similar projects out there. I’m sharing what we came up with, but you can do your own Google search and find many additional resources too.
For this project, students build a tetrahedral kite, reflecting on surface are and volume as they create it. We also added some Trig in at the end measuring the height of the kite using our clinometers. I found another resource that did the same thing. Great minds!
The day we flew our kites was super crazy windy. Some of our kites didn’t hold up as well as we would have liked and only a few were able to stay in the air. The kids had a lot of fun and we had some great discussions about kite construction and the best place to tie the string. All productive conversation with critical thinking.
Here are the resources we compiled from memory and from resources we found.
The circle theorems unit is one where I question when we will use it but see the value in helping students explore and think. One way I like to do this is by having them explore the theorems and record what they notice.
I use Geogebra for the explorations. Some of these are ones I have made and others are ones I have found made by others. I love Geogebra for explorations because you can interact with the images and see what happens when you make the circle bigger or change the angle measure.
If you are wanting to use more critical thinking for the circle theorems unit, I hope you give these a try.
I hope you find these helpful. Check back soon for more circle theorem activities.
I follow Theresa Wills @theresawills on Twitter and she shares some really amazing math games on her blog that she creates for the platform PlayingCard.io. The really fun thing about this platform is that you can play with a partner in real time.
The exciting piece of this is the customizable games. This is where Theresa shares her magic.
Click here to see all of the games Theresa has to offer. Check out the rest of her website too. She has a lot of wonderful information to support math teachers.
Now many of Theresa’s examples will work for younger grades, but I plan to use a few as remediation games for my kiddos. I would also like to create a few games to use as we get closer to the end of the year. I will definitely share when I get them created. For now, check out all that Theresa has to offer and try out PlayingCards.io. It’s pretty amazing.
Since I’m teacher a much lower group this year, I wanted application problems for them but with a little less challenge so they could be successful. Here are the two I have created for them so far. Working with a partner, they have been able to use the calculator and find the answers.
Surface Area of Prisms and Cylinders
Surface Area of Pyramids and Cones
There it is. Hopefully this will help you create a fun and applicable learning experience for you students.
I love this unit because it is so applicable. I have shared many ideas to use during this unit and next week I will combine everything together in one post so it’s easier to access. This post will focus on my exit tickets.
I’ve taught surface area and volume using the formula for all of my teaching career. Last year, I decided I wanted students to look up the formulas like they would in real life. I still think it’s a great skill but it took way too much time to find a calculator that worked. I decided to just make my own. Does it take away from the life skill of searching for one? Yes! Does it make my class flow better but still gives them the opportunity to utilize a calculator? Yes! So for these exit tickets, I’ve designed them to be used with my surface are and volume calcuator.
This unit is also long, so there are many exit tickets.
When we were fully remote and then hybrid, I wanted to give my students options in their learning and I wanted one of the learning options to be visual. When I set up my Canvas for a lesson, I have a table where the left side is read and the right side is watch. On the left side I include these infonotes (yes, I made that up but it’s my blog so I can, LOL) and some hand written notes. On the watch side I include videos, some made by me and some that I have found. Some students (I’m one of those students) don’t like to watch videos, but some students don’t understand without the video. This gives them the option to learn with a style that is best for them.
Now that we are back in person, I still post these options. They can learn from me, or they can chose to read or watch videos.
I’ve included my infonotes for the quadrilateral unit. I have them for every unit in Geometry so I’ll need to get around to posting those :-).
I also used these two activities I have previously posted as an exploration for interior and exterior angles.
I modified these Desmos activities I found to use with this unit. They are wonderful as is, but some of my lower functioning kiddos struggle with explaining so we have a conversation instead of typing. I posted the original activities below so it also gives credit to the author. One day soon (as soon as my dissertation is done) I will be creating in Desmos!!!
A few weeks ago I shared the Exit Tickets I created for this unit. Click here to see that post.
And last but not least, I have an Escape Room that I use as a review for Quadrilaterals. If you want to see your students submissions, just make your own Google Form and have students use yours instead of the one on the escape room site.
You should be set to teach Quadrilaterals. I hope you find something you can use.
This idea has been rolling around in my head, especially when I’m on the elliptical working out, so I’m excited to try it out with students.
The idea behind this activity is to get students to think about the properties of quadrilaterals. There are so many rules to remember and there isn’t a ton of application. I know what you are thinking, then why are we teaching it? Well, it’s still one of our state standards and it’s on the ACT/SAT test, and there is some great logical thinking that happens during this unit.
They will create a comic with two quadrilaterals. In the comic, they must work at least 3 properties for each quadrilateral into the story. The characters are the quadrilaterals themselves.
I wanted this to be 8.5 x 11 so we can put it in iBooks or Kindle when we are finished. Wait, you didn’t know you could do that? Never fear, the instructions are listed below.
I created my own template but I also share others that I have altered and some that aren’t altered but you can use if you don’t care about making it an actual book.
I will begin this with students tomorrow so I will update this with students samples once I have them. Here is an example comic I made to show students.
I have also created the activity sheet that I will post in Canvas. I plan to introduce this after our Geogebra Exploration and then give them the entire unit to complete it.
Once your comic completed, you can go to File-Download as PDF. I move this to my GoogleDrive. On you phone or iPad, go to the file in Drive and click the 3 dots in the corner. Click open in and scroll to the end of your apps where is says more. Once you select more, Kindle and iBooks are both an option. It won’t work with Kindle if the file is too big.
Here is another set of exit tickets for you to use.
This set covers polygons and the parallelogram family. I also teach quadrilateral coordinate proofs during this unit. There isn’t an exit ticket for that section. A long time ago I found this project called White Beards Treasure. I love this activity, however, kids will Google it and the answers are online. To avoid this, I have changed our prompt many times. When I taught this during November I changed it to the Turkey Trot. This time I changed it to Sue the Dinosaur.
I gave a quiz this past week. Some students did quite well but others struggled with some of the concepts. I wanted an activity that gave more practice of the skills students were missing but was self-checking. Students have been asking for another pixel-art activity so I decided to combine the two.
This week in the United States is Groundhog Day. You can click here and read about the history of Groundhog Day. It’s very interesting! One of my colleagues and friend grew up in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, home of the official Groundhog. When we are NOT in a pandemic, she makes groundhog shaped sugar cookies for all her students and the other math teachers. I know this year she is sad because she won’t be able to share this tradition. To honor her hometown, I made this pixel art activity as a groundhog :-). This one is for you Danyelle.
You may take this one and alter it. You may also create your own with this tutorial I created.
I also wanted to share a couple of Desmos activities I found and used during this unit. Both are by Kurt Salisbury.
The Zelda activity is one I’ve used before and I really like it. It practices Pythagorean Theorem.
The second one I found just this year and it is AH-Mazing!!! I will be this good at Desmos CL one day and will make fun things like this! This is one is an intro to Trig with some terrific animations. It really allowed my students to think an explore.