Day 69: Starting Transformations unit: Face off by Mathalicious

Warning: this post makes a lot more sense if you are looking at the Mathalicious lesson, Face Off.

I worked through this activity prior to the start of class and thought that the geogebra files may impede students understanding of what they are measuring & why. I also knew we would not get to this until day 2 of the lesson, so I wanted to see how day 1 unfolded. Students seemed to really respond to faces. It got serious when we started looking at Beyonce’s face. I had no idea she was so polarizing!

Students had some great strategies for drawing the right side of each image in act 1. One student traced the left side using patty paper, flipped the patty paper to the right side and scratched it with her fingernail, which transferred the image to the right side. She then went over it in pencil and it was flawless! It was hard to not be helpful, but I consider it promising that students keep expressing frustration that I am not giving them enough direction or telling them what to do., but then they proceed to do a great job.

Many students flipped past the second part of act 1 and started jumping ahead while their peers were finishing their drawings. I had to tell them that today we are only looking at act 1, and I am giving them plenty of time because I expect them to do quality work. I made up a story to make it more personal: Demitiri made the drawing on the left and Kayla made the one on the right. I think Kayla’s looks better, but not perfect so I’m going to give her a B, and Demitri should get an F because that just looks bad to me. Arguments ensued. Measurements and rulers came out, it was a good discussion on how to fairly measure imperfections in symmetry.


Next we used geogebra, because measuring was getting tedious, and completed the celebrity analysis. My only complaint with the geogebra file is that the titles on the right side points were movable, so some students moved the titles instead of the points, resulting in inaccurate measurements and lots of cursing & frustration on their part. Some of my classes got to the Obama part, but not all of them.

This lesson went well, but I did not feel like it ended with any real conclusion. The students were engaged, and they developed mathematical systems of measurement, which I think is much more important than being able to repeat a process. I will definitely do this again




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