Circles, Triangles and Kites oh my part 1 #MTBoS30 6 of 30
In geometry we had some fun with kite like shapes for the last couple of days. On Wednesday we asked:
See it in Action (click image to open)
I asked the students to play with the applet. I prompted them to ask for more information. Some noticed the sample questions below the applet and asked those to start the discussion. The key question had to do with decomposing the shape into other shapes that we had more familiar tools to work with. The students were quick to see the right triangles. Once we were able to identify that, the next question was, “How does that help me?” Getting students to connect and then apply relationships they know into a seemingly new context is a constant challenge, but they are getting better. I reminded them to recognize what are we trying to find. Once they narrowed in on the task of finding a length, and the length was a part of a right triangle, some started to see it, “Pythag Thyrem.” (this seems to be a tongue twister for the general high school math population). “Okay, how do you mean?” was my reply. Some didn’t see the given values for the hypotenuse that was also a radius.
Circles seem to be a pain for many geometry teachers, and I feel that it’s because so many people approach circles as a never ending list of formulas. We need to find ways to simplify the overall question and give students an opportunity to fill in the structure(s) needed to respond to the question. I know there are some awesome activities out there dealing with volume and area with round objects. Here I’m trying to put together a series of interactive questions the see the overlaps and relationships with circles, segments and angles.