Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Geo Challenge!

Teachers get the entire summer off, right?  Well....that's not quite true.  The fact is, true teachers don't get the summer "off."  They spend their summers scouring Pinterest, Facebook, teacher blogs, and Twitter for new ideas to incorporate into their curriculum the next year.  In the middle of June, I was browsing Facebook and I saw this geometry idea that challenged my thinking.

The post was titled, "How to Turn 2 Circles into 1 Square" and you can find it here on their blog.  I couldn't get my head wrapped around this and I had to watch the video.

I took to Twitter and tweeted the video to my teammates to keep in mind for our geometry unit this year.  Our 2nd grade Texas learning standards have us "decomposing" shapes to make new shapes.  First, I gave each learner an index card.  We discussed the attributes of the card (it's a rectangle...four sides, and four vertices).  Then, I told the class that I wanted them to cut the rectangle into two three-sided figures....with NO leftover pieces from the card.  They did great!  While a few kiddos had trouble at first, they quickly figured it out and we cut the rectangles into two triangles.

Now, it was time for a challenge.  I had the learners pair up with a partner and take two strips of paper.  We made the strips become circles by gluing the ends together.  Finally, I told the partners their challenge was to make the two circles into one square.

This was a great opportunity to discuss the attributes of a square (four equal sides) and how it is similar, but different from a rectangle (where two sides are long and two sides are shorter).

This first group was QUICK QUICK to get it!  And they eagerly and professionally shared their thinking with the class.  They cut the two circles apart into lines and then glued them together into the form of a 3-D square.

This group did great thinking, too!  They took the circles apart, then glued them on top of each other to make a perfect 2-D square.

I can't leave out these two future teachers!  They needed to use the board and markers to teach everyone their thinking.

I know you're as impressed as I am!  Great job mathematicians!

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