day 118: Volume Fail

I have 3 class days this week, then there are 2 days of conferences before spring break, so I know students will forget some content over the break. I decided to teach volume in these 3 days, and then address surface area, which is harder for students, after the break.

I planned to complete students interactive notes on volume on Monday, then have Tuesday and Wednesday for students to work on concept development and applying their notes using Mathematics Assessment Project’s Calculating Volumes of Compound Objects.

During the first period of the class, I realized that all volume notes in one 50-minute period was overload for my students. I think they left feeling overwhelmed, and I talked too much. Next year, I need to find a day to practice area (maybe a stations activity), then do volume of prisms & cylinders the following day and incorporate some basic practice (simultaneous round table?). The next class we should discuss and complete notes and maybe a lab on pyramids and cones showing that these objects have 1/3 of the volume of their prism counterparts, and include some basic practice before and compound solids after the lesson where students can apply concepts from the previous lessons.

The lesson today did improve with each of my 3 geometry classes, with minor adjustments to pacing and demonstration & discussion. However, I feel like it should have been spread over two days, with area practice prior to it.

To compensate, tomorrow we will do a basic practice whiteboard/stamp game with students in pairs or 3’s before jumping into the math assessment project lesson mentioned above.

I think some of these tiny failures come from not having taught geometry to these students before. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to re-tune my pacing for next school year and avoid these failures, but of course, I am sure I will find new ones!

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