The AP Calculus AB teacher told me something ah-maaazing. She said that her kids are sooooo good at working in groups, and that’s probably because they’ve been trained by me (in Advanced Precalculus the previous year). She said they sit down, get started right away, they’re talking and discussing, and on task. I LOVE THAT COMPLIMENT! It is possibly the best compliment I could have received, period.
Today in Geometry, students worked on an activity they started in the previous class. They had been asked to come up with a group definition for “triangle,” “polygon,” and “circle.” Then other groups would counter-attack by drawing things that satisfy the written definition but are not triangles, polygons, or circles. Today was the counter-attack part of the activity. And they were engaged. They were thinking about some really deep ideas. Closed figures versus open figures. Figures in 3D. What it means to say “three angles” and if a triangle has three angles (or six, if you include exterior angles). It was awesome. Some images.
My Precalculus kids were having great discussions today on combinations, even though they don’t know that’s what they were doing yet. They were counting… without counting.