Hello all,
I am looking for some cool mathematics activities to do with my Geometry students. Any suggestions?!?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,
Meagan : )

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How old are your students? I teach high school, special ed students. Here are some of my favorites (and the students', too):

1. For lines and angles: orienteering and surveying. They are two different projects that help students with the concept of lines, angles, segments, measurements, and straightedge/compass constructions.

2. Bridge design and construction. This is for properties of shapes. Students can also use geometric vocabulary to describe their bridges.

3. Trigonometry treasure hunt. This is a whole activity written by Phil Schlemmer and it teaches the trig ratios and how to use the ratios to find angles and side lengths. The culminating lesson is a treasure hunt where students use trig to measure segments and find the distance to the treasure. It's called Teaching Beyond the Test and can be found at amazon.com.

4. One year I had kids bend wire into the solid shapes and then dip them in bubble solution to form the faces. That was kind of fun. I also tried kites, but that was only marginally successful as the math involved was limited and we never had good weather to fly them.
Thanks for sharing the "Trigonometry Treasure Hunt" idea. I hadn't heard of that one before- I'll pass it on to my high school friends.

To piggyback on your bridge design and construction idea, there is a site that I've tapped when I've had my students explore the geometry of building construction in general called ArchKIDecture:
I'm a new geometry teacher (second career though!), and I'm looking for ideas to engage the kids. They struggle with math! I appreciate idea postings like this! I will look into 1, 2, and 3. Even at the end of the year, I still had one or two students out of my 3 classes that still seemed confused about an angle vs. a side. Maybe if I did something with the surveying early on in the year, I could get them past that confusion.
That is interesting.

One of my biggest problems with geometry is kids not knowing the difference between angles and sides. This seems like such an easy concept, and all year they are making mistakes and getting confused because they can't look at a picture of a triangle and know which measurements go with which parts.

That's why I did more with surveying and constructions. I even do an assignment where they color code sides and angles on polygons. We make a two column chart and talk about differences from the way they look to the units of measurements used for them, but some stay confused.

We talk about how a segment is a side and an angle is a corner. They seem to get it and then they look at a diagram and use the wrong measurements. Often when they find the length of a side from a labeled diagram, they will add together the two associated angle measurements. AAARGH!

Any things you've tried would be of great interest to me.
I'm not sure what grade level/s you work with either, but I ran across the following set of geometric scaling activities the other day that might be of interest to you if you work with junior high or high school students (see attachment). The one that uses Barbie, Ken and GI Joe dolls as a talking point about proportions is one that I remember being motivating for me when I was a student. Source: Bemidji State University Summer Mathematics Institute's Web page.

If you work with intermediate grade levels, Marilyn Burns' The Greedy Triangle makes a good read outloud.
Attached is a file that includes some follow-up activities, samples of student work, and resources.
Source: South Dakota Department of Education Web site
Note: A key word search will lead to other resources that relate to this book.
chaos, randomness, and shapes;

This is a Sierpinski Triangle activitiy I have used in the past.

Interesting points:  Perimeter is approaching infinity.  Area is approaching zero.  Randomly generated points generate a fixed picture.  Fractals/Chaos is a new and emerging field of Mathematics.

* Dice (#number of students/3), random number genarator on calculator.
* Overhead projector transparencies.
* Overhead projector.
* transparency writing markers.
* ruler
** Web 2.0 alert .. maybe you could replace this stuff with google docs, or draw.

* Draw an Equilateral Trinangle on (#students/3) transparencies.
* Label the vertices on the triangle 1 and 4, 2 and 5, 3 and 6 clockwise starting at the top vertex.

1, 4
/ \
/ \
3, 6 _____ 2, 5

* Break students into groups (three per group works well, but size of class may require modification)
* Give each group an overhead transparency. (predrawn equalateral triangle, and lableled vertices)

* each group should:
-- roll die
-- measrure half way from top vertex: 1, 4; to point rolled.
-- put a dot at the half way point on the transparency.
~ then roll die again and measure half way from the current point to the
rolled vertex and put another dot.
-- do this twenty times (for each group)

* call the students to attention.
* overlay the transparencies one at a time on the overhead.
* ask for observations about patterns.

* prompt about
does this happen every time?



Hope this makes sense.

Here is a link to the activity: http://jasperstreet.homeip.net/wiki/index.php/Sierpinski

if you had to modify please post comments or additions on the wiki.

Here's an idea from a MathConnections wiki.
Hi Megan,

If you have a SMART board in your classroom there are some good interactive lessons at SMART's website, http://education.smarttech.com/ste/en-us/. There are lessons created by SMART under the educator's resources section. You can also join the SMART Exchange (for free) and find lesson files to download that have been posted by other teachers.

I also recommend the website http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vLibrary.html for any math teacher anywhere. It is full of virtual manipulatives for levels K-12. It is probably my favorite website for teaching.

NCTM has a great website and you can search the illuminations section, http://illuminations.nctm.org/ for lessons, activities, and links. This website is also just great.
Thanks for your post! Unfortunately, I don't have a SMART board (it's a dream for someday)! I will be sure to check out the websites you listed! Thanks for your thoughts!

Meagan : )



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