Category: surface area

Re-Constructing Shapes

For the first time in a decade, I am not reconvening with a high school staff to begin preparations for the school year. (I’m preparing to work with pre-service teachers on a university campus). It feels weird–very weird. It is a day that I look forward to because optimism is a constant across the building. …

Experiencing Scale in Higher Dimensions

A colleague and I have often bemoaned our attempts to teach the concept of scale factor in higher dimensions. A topic that has such beautiful and elegant patterns and symmetries between the scale factors consistently seems to sail directly past the experience of our students. I have tried enacting several tasks with the students including …

Solid Fusing Task

The progression followed by most teachers and resources during the study of surface area and volume is identical. Like a intravenous drip, concepts are released gradually to the patients so as to not overdose them with complexity. Begin with the calculation of 2-dimensional areas, and then proceed to the calculation of surface area of familiar …

My Favourite Surface Area Question

Surface area is intuitive. Intuition is a natural hook into curiosity. When you think something might (or should) be the case, it begs the question, why? It just seems as though textbooks haven’t gotten wind of that. Perusing the surface area chapter of the assigned textbook for my Grade 9 math class offers a steady …

CCSS: Support from the North

I can’t–for the life of me–understand why someone would argue to eliminate high level mathematical reasoning in favour of memorized tricks, but that seems to be the case with those arguing against the Common Core State Standards. I cannot fathom how this can be the case except to chalk it up to a case of …

Project Work Scaffold

There are two schools of thought when it comes to PBL: Start with a large-scale project and fit the specific outcomes within it, or Build toward a larger project with smaller tasks. I love the idea of large projects, but also aim to make my work as¬†accessible¬†as possible for those who want to take it …

Soft Drink Project Part 4: The Math

This is the fourth in a series of posts detailing a student-posed math project. To get the full picture, please read the previous posts beginning with: Soft Drink Project Part 1: The Framework This post is designed to dampen the fear of math teachers. I know, because I was very afraid that the project had …

Soft Drink Project Part 3: The Design

This post is the third in a series of posts detailing the happenings of a math project. To better understand the whole story, please start reading at the beginning: Soft Drink Project Part 1: The Framework The next few classes after the brainstorming class were a blur. Students would come into class, grab their previous …

Soft Drink Project Part 2: The Brainstorm

This post will make a lot more sense if you read the framework for the project in “Soft Drink Project Part 1: The Framework“. I left the classroom energized; I could not remember a time that I was more pleased with a lesson that I had taught. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it teaching. …