Saturday, September 12, 2015

Parallel Lines Activity

Today, all 6 of my geometry classes were supposed to take a quiz on angle relationships when parallel lines are cut by a transversal and move on to parallel, perpendicular or neither.  I knew yesterday by 2nd period that they wouldn't do well if I forced them to take the quiz at the beginning of class today.  So a plan was hatched and a trip to Dollar Tree was planned.

The plan was to tape the floor with two parallel lines cut by a transversal.  The more I thought about it, the more pieces I created.  The trip to Dollar Tree only yielded a roll of pretty duct tape and a roll of navy blue masking tape.  I went there to look for more traffic cones, but they were all gone.  I had bought 8 traffic cones from there about 4 years ago and have never used them!  Finally, they had a use!! I had 2 red, 2 orange, 2 yellow, 1 blue and 1 purple and I needed them in pairs.  So I could only use the red, orange and yellow ones and it worked just fine.

Here's a pic of my floor taped.  Those are electrical plugs in my floor!

Here's a pic of my "tools".  Six signs with angle pair names, 3 pairs of colored cones, a timer to keep us on track, post-its for solving (one pair for congruent angles, one for supplementary) and student names on strips to pull at random (color-coded by class).  The next pic is of student whiteboard and marker storage. 

The students grabbed a whiteboard, marker and a chair and sat in a semicircle around the taped lines.  I explained how it worked and we got started.  I would show everyone a sign with an angle pair and place it on the floor.  Then, 2 random students were chosen and given cones.  They would place the cones in the correct angles.  If they had trouble on the first round, they could get help.  Once the cones were placed, they were asked if those angle were congruent or supplementary.  At that point, I would stick the post-its and have them use the whiteboards to solve for the variable.  In some classes, we got thru the first round without anyone needing help so I would give two cones to a student and have them challenge another student.  They would place their cone then challenge a student to find an angle that was, say corresponding to it.

I had one student that is hard to reach tell me that it was fun and thanked me for doing the activity!!!!  I had so much fun and it was such a productive activity (grades on quizzes after activity were better than expected!) that I invited my math coach and fellow geometry teachers to watch during their planning period.  They plan on using it next week for their students as well!!

What a perfect way to end the week!! SUCCESS!!