Getting to Know...

After making the change to CC Geometry a few years ago, and after much #MTBoS influence, I took a chance and made a big change in the way I start my school year. Last year, I didn't give out a course outline and require the Ss to have it signed and returned. I didn't lay out the rules and requirements of my course and classroom. Instead, I started with "One Cut Shapes".

The inspiration for this came from a PRESENTATION that I took part in last year with Dan Anderson and some other NYS Master Teacher colleagues:

It was an interesting investigation that I got into last summer:

So last year, I started the first day of class with: "Hi, I'm your geometry teacher, Mr. Kaercher. Let's play with one-cut shapes." It was a freeing experience and probably different than the first-class-of-the-year-experiences that the Ss had that day.

I'm starting this year the same way, but I have also revamped my first Geometry unit on "Essentials of Geometry". Like taking the first few days to get to know my Ss and for them to get to know me, I want them to get to know the tools that we will be using throughout the year.

In addition to spending a few days exploring traditional tools like the compass and straightedge, we will also be taking a few days getting to know GeoGebra and Desmos. These are two integral tools of exploration and discovery that I want the Ss to know.

Getting to Know GeoGebra

Here is a LINK to a Google Doc where the Ss will get to know the GeoGebra Graphing Calculator:

... and here is a LINK to a different Google Doc where the Ss will get to know the GeoGebra Geometry Calculator:

Anyone who has used GeoGebra before knows that there is quite an assortment of tools available. I felt that these two lessons will help the Ss become familiar with some of the basic tools. Of course, we will be exploring the transformation, circle and 3-D tools throughout the year.


I don't have a Google Doc of instructions for "Getting to Know Desmos". I will be walking the Ss through the construction of a file similar to this ONE:

It utilizes some of the basics - sliders, dynamic labeling, notes, table of values. Later in the year, I will introduce the Ss to lists, shading, and more. 


My hope is that these activities will not only introduce the Ss to some of the tools that we will utilize this year, but it will also give the Ss a sense that Geometry with Mr. Kaercher will be a little different that their previous math experiences. 

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions about the activities listed above, please let me know.


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