 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 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? What is the purpose of having students describe the shapes rather than name them? 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, second-grade students in Ms. Christiansen's class are working to describe different figures so that their fellow students can draw them just from the description. They use vocabulary they know to describe figures, learning names for new shapes as they work. If you are using a VCR, you can find this segment on the session video approximately 22 minutes and 32 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? What is the purpose of having students describe the shapes rather than name them? 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. Christiansen's lesson is similar to one from Session 1 of this course in which you had to build designs from pattern blocks based on descriptions of those designs. Discuss the ways in which Ms. Christiansen's lesson was similar to and different from the one in this course. What makes this more appropriate for second-grade students?   Session 10, Grades k-2: Index | Notes | Solutions | Video