## Friday, August 12, 2011

### Last Friday Before the "Fake" 1st Week of School

To relieve my bum's fascination with sitting and surfing on the computer all the time (it's really talented), I went in to school every day this week for a wee bit and unpacked and decided on desk structure (30 kids! Woot!) and stuff. You can see I'm still not done, but I've made headway, and my butt thanks me for actually walking around. You're welcome, bane of my rear.

Here are the unpacked boxes SO FAR:

Here is what I'm trying out. Two students per table. Long rows. No extra room. Oh! and look! More schtuff to put away:

I'm trying to be more organized this year. I tried to put myself on a pen diet last year. NO MORE PEN BUYING. Apparently, my fascination with the show, "Hoarders", .... hmmmm, a little sensitive?

What's this? More hoarding tendencies? And I didn't even buy any pens or stickies this year. Yet.

1. Sigh - eight boxes of paper I never got unpacked over the summer. Sitting in my room. Waiting on me.

Do you have any suggestions for teaching special right triangles? They don't get it.

2. Hi Ricochet. Have fun with the 8 boxes! ... and what all do you do for the special rt triangles? I first show them how it comes about, then the ratios, then the fact that they need to memorize them, then a TON of practice of varying difficulties so it gets ingrained in their mind. I found that answer banks on the practice helped a lot because of the immediate feedback. Then more practice.

We also have a discussion on the relative sizes of the 3 sides by looks (I make them draw it close to what it is). Then a discussion on the relative sizes of the 3 numbers (ratios of sides) and which is bigger. And link the two.

I also take time for them to come up with memory tools of how to remember what. Then we share as a class.

That's what I seem to remember on how I approach it. Is that what you were looking for?

3. I did pretty much all of that (except the answer banks). I even talked about sqrt 2 being an irrational number and one of the first discovered.

I talked about leaving the sqrt so you can see the patterns (rather than using the calculator and going for decimal).

I was batting this around with a student who gets it but is convinced she doesn't (she thought she failed a quiz - she missed 1 out of 12.)

What if I buy 3 colors of chunky yarn this weekend. Cut one piece four feet long or less (My desks face the center because I have boards on both ends and there is about 4 feet between the desks). So, cut three three feet long, two six feet long and take yarn to school.

Using a piece six feet long and and one 3 feet long, form a right angle. (the six foot is the long side so too long). Using the second six foot, intersect the long side, cut it, measure it and show it is 3 sqrt 3.

Then do the same for 45-45-90.

The tiles on the floor will help with right angles but I could tape the floor as well.

I am thinking this would help the kinesthetic learner.

Still noodling this around.

4. Sounds really creative!

I forgot one extra thing I did. I trained them to RIGHT at the beginning of a problem, when they see it's "special", no matter what information is given, IMMEDIATELY write the "x" ratios around the sides of the triangle. Then, just see which side you have # information for and then solve.

So, what specifically are they not getting? Maybe that will give me (you) a hint or a reminder of something else that may work.

5. They keep thinking they cannot find 2 sides given 1 side (that's what makes them special).

They confuse 3 and sqrt 3 (I explained since they think they are the same number I will borrow \$56 and payback %sqrt 56. (They said - wait you'll only pay back \$7 = I know - they are not the same number).

They overthink it. And they will not memorize. (Oy, what we have done to these kids)

I like writing the ratios.