Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Geometry Proofs

As I still have momentum from the previous year, I thought I'd get some ideas down for next year. I believe I'm teaching 2 levels of geometry (in addition to the PLTW IED course). I know how hard it is for kids to get up to speed with the flow proofs we teach, so I thought I'd scaffold it more this year, and potentially start with the following idea:

After a few (2?) of these, I'd try to incorporate a math story; then take away the "skeleton" at the bottom of the page for another story (but keep the statements), so they had to create the flow. Then start taking away more and more and finally bringing it to just a geometry problem statement. I'll have to flesh it out more, but that's the seed of my idea.

I like the flow proof style instead of the 2-column proof because there is a visual connection between what follows from what. I also like teaching proofs because it's a challenge for the kids and stretches their brains. It's also the first time (only time?) they see what it means to actually prove something instead of just give a convincing argument.


  1. Great idea! I foolishly followed the book and did flow proofs after two-column and the kids begged to back to two-column. Maybe this as an introduction would be much smoother.

  2. I like your idea too--I'm looking forward to seeing more of it!

    It reminds me a bit of an article in Teaching Mathematics in April on ProofBlocks: http://www.proofblocks.com/
    You might want to take a look at their resources to see if they could help out your project.

  3. Thanks for the proofblocks.com link. I'll look at it now, and maybe there are some good resources there. Also, hopefully I can sustain my momentum and not be so last minute come fall in designing this unit.

    Ms. Cookie

  4. MathMom11:25 PM

    Wonderful idea! I, too, enjoy teaching proofs. I believe proofs develop logical, sequential thinking that may be applied to all disciplines. Unfortunately, the geometry curriculum in my district has been watered down so much that the teaching of proofs has almost become non-existent. Your approach seems interesting and challenging. It's something I would like to try next year too!