Coming off of Thanksgiving break I feel ready to go. In Algebra, we are just starting to work with slope. I am excited for tomorrow’s lesson… stay tuned for that.

I graded Geometry’s concept tests over the break, and a majority of the class bombed Triangle Congruency… Hard.

The fact that 7/8 of the classes scores didn’t raise tells me I messed up somewhere along the way. We spent about 40 of the 49 minutes in the period reviewing different problems on whiteboards. I think it helped them quite a bit.

For the last 9 minutes I threw this up on the board:

They were giggling and having a great time. I thought it was interesting that none of my 20 students tried to make the side at a slant… Taking the easy way out I guess.

After about two minutes I revealed the bottom of the slide:

It is really interesting to me that after about 3 seconds, most of the class decided it would be too much work and checked out.

Did I ask the wrong question? Were students not perplexed by this? Is there a lower entry point into coordinate geometry that would have been more effective? Was a bad idea to give this problem with 7 minutes left?

Maybe.

I don’t regret asking students to find a place to start on this for homework. I set the bar high… Students should see that I want them to struggle and be challenged.

This summer I went to one of Dan’s workshops. One idea that stuck with me was **you can always add to a problem, but you can never take away.** I believe that if I led students through a coordinate geometry problem before hand, it would take away from the magic and struggle that makes math so great. Working at a problem for a longggg time then finally getting it, ya know?

I had parent teacher conferences a few weeks back, the only talking point I had planned was to project my class goals up on the board for parents to see. These were on my syllabus this year and I refer to them constantly to make sure I am excited and passionate about what I am teaching…

Here they are:

**Encourage the development of mathematical reasoning by:**
**Incorporating multimedia into lessons.**
**Presenting students with low entry and high exit problems.**
**Focusing on student work.**

**Develop patient problem solving skills.**
**Make math social.**
**Provide the appropriate level of mathematical rigor for each student.**

I believe there is an appropriate place for guided examples, notes and repetition; after the struggle. After students discover and apply the mathematical tools that make their lives easier.

Tomorrow I am planning on having students talk about the problem for a few minutes, creating a plan of attack with their groups, then trying it again. I will work in examples along the way according to where they are at in the solution process.