Thursday, October 20, 2011

My PCMI Geometry Project

I attended Park City Mathematics Institute Summer Secondary Teachers Program.  That is a mouthful and luckily the PCMI folks love acronyms (We had a presentation on all the acronyms the first day.  Not even joking a little bit.)

Anyways, part of the SSTP is spent in Working Groups of 8-10 teachers and 2 teacher leaders.  We were giving 8 hours a week to fiddle around and come up with something that would be useful to the larger mathematics community.

I had the pleasure of working with Joey and Barb.  Joey and I came up with a project to help students better visualize points, lines, and planes while learning how to draw 2-D drawings of 3-D situations and use Geogebra.   I haven't been able to try the project yet (one-to-one laptop program doesn't launch until next week), but several other PCMI-ers in the math teacher blogosphere have given it a go and written about their experiences.

Click HERE for PiCrust's review

Click HERE for f(t)'s initial description
Click HERE for f(t)'s follow-up

Sooo exciting.  I can't wait to try it.

Geometry- Themes!

I spent most of the summer designing a moodle and had arranged my topics like a textbook and most geometry courses.
  • Basic Introduction (Undefined terms, parallel/perpendicular lines)
  • Logic
  • Triangles (Types, Theorems)
  • Polygons (Regular Polygons, Quadrilaterals)
  • Similarity/Proportion
  • Right Triangles (Pythagorean, Trig Identities)
  • Area/Volume
  • Circles

But... if I'm going to be breaking away from a textbook ...why am I making it look and feel exactly like a textbook?  I have limited time and want to keep my sanity, so I am using a handful of worksheets and direct instruction and at points my course will just be a textbook in disguise.  BUT I want to keep pushing away from that into a format that fits my students and fit my school.

I want to arrange my whole geometry class thematically.  I can do this.    After 5 minutes of independently trying to list the themes of geometry I went to my friend google.   And google pulled through.  I came to the website for the University of Calgary's Committee on Logic Education. (Linked HERE)

While the website isn't super fancy and the examples of what each theme would contain at each grade level weren't very helpful, I do like the shell it outlines.

Here's an outline of what my co-teacher and I came up with (Linked HERE)

MCTM Presentation

Here's a link to the Prezi  I used during my MCTM presentation


Back in the Action

It's been a long time since I last blogged.  Once the school year started up I entered crazy teacher mode and did the usual September "eat-prep-teach-after school club- prep- eat- sleep" routine.  As soon as I started to have a handle on life... then came parent teacher conferences... and following that came an abundance of missing and late work.  I'm finally caught up on grading and have half an idea of what I'm teaching, so hopefully I'll start to blog more regularly again.