A few days ago I posted on twitter about a project I did in geometry this year, which was unoriginally, called the Geometry Fall Semester Project- Wrapping Paper.
When friends ask for a blog post, I have to oblige. So here I am proctoring a fall semester final exam and blogging. To whom ever stumbles upon this post know that I like this project enough that I am 100% doing it next year. I also want to adjust a few things about this project because I learned a few things and think I have a way to streamline some student issues/misconceptions that occurred in the process of the project.
So the idea for this came to me when I stumbled across this video on the internet from SkillShare. While watching the video a million things few through my mind of possible uses in my math classroom, but I landed on turning it into the final cumulative skills task for my geometry students.
My geometry course starts out reeeeeaaaaally slow. Like. We have only learned the Basics of Geometry (points, lines, and planes), Logic, parallel lines cut by transversals, perpendicular line problems, transformations, and proofs of parallel line things. I spend an awful long time on proofs. I can do this because I have the luxury of teaching at a school with no state exams. Also, I have this (unproven) idea that if I hit proofs really hard first semester it will make them go more smoothly second semester (initial research seems to agree with me based on student feedback and assessments). So the final project didn’t have many skills in a list to choose from. So I opted for Transformations and parallel lines with transversals.
Students were told to create a grid via parallel lines and transversals. To find a 1″ by 2″ image to transform around the plane (translations, rotations, reflections, and dilations). They were also asked to find a small image (1/2″ by 1/2″) to put in special angle pairs on their parallel line/transversal plane (like alternate interior angles).
Once students had their main template completed to their liking with the foundation for their wrapping paper with all the transformations and small image placements where they wanted it to be we followed the video tutorial on how to create a self-repeating space. The Cliffs Notes is cut the paper in half long ways, reattach the paper so the middle (where you cut) is now on the outside and the outside edges are now meeting in the middle of the page. Add any image you like to the empty space. Repeat the process by cutting horizontally and adding images to blank space.
Here is the project paper I gave students. I want to re-do it for next year
Things I’d do differently/better next time:
- I need to change the wording of the handout to say that we want to create a GRID with parallel lines and transversals. This will aid in having translations that make sense if their transversals are all also parallel to one another.
- Yell from the clifftops that images cannot run off the edges of the paper you use for the template (aka the before you cut and paste the paper part of the project). This prevents decapitated Snoopy’s from repeating all over your design.
- Also yell from the clifftops that students should record what transformations they are doing AS THEY WORK on the template. Its really difficult to remember what you did three days after you drew it.
Anyways, I hope you like the project. Let me know what recommendations you have for improvement or if you use it and make it better.