 Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum            Session 10, Part A:
Geometry as a Problem-Solving Process (25 minutes)

The study of geometry can include both problem solving and connections to other areas of mathematics (arithmetic, algebra, etc.). Too often, classrooms focus almost exclusively on correctly identifying shapes and their properties by name. While mathematical language and clear communication are important in geometry, it is important to include other kinds of geometric problems as well so that geometry isn't reduced to mere nomenclature. Note 2

When viewing the following video segment, keep the following questions in mind:

 a. How does the teacher incorporate geometric language into the lesson without making it the focus of the lesson? b. Where in the lesson are students learning new geometric content? What is that content? c. Where in the lesson are students solving problems and thinking mathematically? How does the problem solving relate to the geometric content? d. Thinking back to the big ideas of this course, what are some geometric ideas these students are likely to encounter through their investigation of this situation?   Video Segment In this video segment, fifth-grade students in Ms. Kurchian's class are working to sort different figures into Venn diagrams. They discuss whether shapes fit certain criteria given by the labels on their diagrams and when shapes can fit multiple criteria. If you are using a VCR, you can find this segment on the session video approximately 9 minutes and 38 seconds after the Annenberg Media logo.    Problem A1 Answer the questions you reflected on as you watched the video:

 a. How does the teacher incorporate geometric language into the lesson without making it the focus of the lesson? b. Where in the lesson are students learning new geometric content? What is that content? c. Where in the lesson are students solving problems and thinking mathematically? How does the problem solving relate to the geometric content? d. Thinking back to the big ideas of this course, what are some geometric ideas these students are likely to encounter through their investigation of this situation? Problem A2 This lesson is not couched in a "real-world context." Students are sorting shapes and thinking about mathematical ideas in the abstract. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of lesson? Are "mathematics only" lessons important in your classroom? What purpose do they, as opposed to contextualized lessons, serve? Note 3  Join the discussion! Post your answer to Problem A2 on Channel Talk; then read and respond to answers posted by others. Problem A3 Ms. Kurchian's lesson was based on a lesson from this course in Session 3. Discuss the ways Ms. Kurchian's lesson is similar to and different from the one from Session 3 of this course. What adaptations did she make and why?   Session 10, Grades 3-5: Index | Notes | Solutions | Video