Maybe constructions will go better next year

This year in geometry I started teaching constructions by having students fill out a foldable using instructional videos as a reference.

By doing this, I made several mistakes. Students saw constructions as an annoying set of steps to memorize and repeat. Most students (as well as the Khan Academy) completely missed the point of using geometric relationships and logical reasoning as a tool to create complex, accurate drawings.

Next year I plan to re- sequence the lessons to support understanding first:

  1. I will allow a few DAYS for students time to play with the compass first. To notice, to wonder.
  2. I will create an environment for them to talk to each other using the vocabulary we just learned to communicate and try to create this
  3. I will make sure patty paper  is available at all times.
  4. I will assign this project during the first few days of school to motivate students to get proficient using a compass:  (you can download this file here, if you don’t have a Scribd account)
  5. I need straight edges without measurements on them so that students have a reason to use a compass instead of a ruler.
  6. I will not immediately provide steps to make constructions. I will challenge students to complete a few basic constructions by hand to teach the intent of constructions
  7. We will play Euclid, the Game!
  8. I plan to still use a foldable for constructions next year, but I’ll have students complete each set of instructions as they conclude how to draw it themselves.
  9. I will buy 10 dry erase compasses to encourage student collaborations using my big white boards.
  10. We will incorporate constructions as we move toward transformations. for example: when students figure out how to construct a perpendicular bisector, they should also use it to construct a reflection:  delete this
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