Day 137 – Getting it done

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Math 8 – The picture above shows some students finishing their ladder project. Check out the curricular and core competencies on the back wall. This project was primarily about reflecting on process competencies.

Today the students also did a quiz on tilted squares. I wrapped up the tilted squares by asking the classes if anyone wondered why we studied it, if we already new the Pythagorean Theorem. A few students said they did, and I showed how a right triangle with side lengths a and b can be used in a tilted square to offer a proof for the Pythagorean Theorem. It turns out we can trust 2500 year old Greek mathematicians after all!

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Day 35 – Curricular Competencies in Math

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Math 8 – In our group work today I asked students to focus on two particular competencies:

  • I can ask others for explanations
  • I can contribute to a group task

I chose these competencies for two reasons. First, I know that some students were really struggling with the Painted Cubes problem and were backing out of their groups, trying to meld into the background. I’m trying to make sure that students are active in asking their peers for explanations. Secondly, some students will have a very hard time coming up with generalizations in problems like Painted Cubes. The idea is that even if a student cannot come up with the final solution, they’re is always something they can contribute. Maybe it’s an idea, a calculation, whatever.