I assigned this as a final project for my geometry classes. I wanted to see (and I wanted students to see) how well they could apply their mathematical skills to real world applications. I struggle with being less helpful, while keeping students from giving up, so i really studied all of the suggested questions that go with this lesson described by the Mathematics Assessment Project. I did not follow the lesson exactly as designed, but instead adapted it for my students. I broke the project down over four 50 minute class periods:

Day 1: Introduce activity, students work in pairs: turn in all thoughts & notes for feedback at end of class. This evening I replied with next steps / questions to keep students making progress the next day.

Day 2: Time to work, select students to informally present their noticing’s so far. Introduce the cup calculator for students to study patterns and test hypotheses.

Day 3: Students analyze sample solutions, then begin revising their own work.

Day 4: Final work day & reflections, discussions, presentations

Next year I’d like to add time at the beginning for noticing & wondering & individual student work before they begin working in pairs. My fear is that many students will not even try just because they are not sure where or how to start.

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I just stumbled onto your blog and it looks amazing! I love how you are summarizing everything you did for a whole year. Definitely going to be reading more of this!

Thank you so much John! Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Will do!

I’m trying to incorporate a bit of modeling earlier in the year in geometry. We started with rigid motions and are about to do tools of geometry/constructions. Unit 3 is logic/proofs for parallel lines, triangles, etc., but I want to possibly put Rolling Cups in between Units 2 and 3. Would your students have been able to do this early on? Or do you think they’d need more content before trying it? I teach high school geometry.

Hi, you do a great job of explaining what/how you taught. Thank you.

Question: you say final project. Final project for the year?

Thank You! The year that I blogged about geometry daily, I did it as a final project at the end of the school year. Since then though, I use this as the first semester capstone project.