Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Definitely, Maybe - Section 1: Definitely, Maybe

 

When facilitating this discussion, I made the decision to create a rule that students could NOT ask questions that simply had yes or no answers.  For example, I did not allow students to pose questions like, “is the picture showing a polar bear?”, “did two people exchange vows?”, or “is this a rectangle?”  What this rule did was require students to think harder about the characteristics that would guarantee the polar bear was indeed a polar bear, for example, by asking “where does this creature live?” or “what might this creature eat?”  As a result, students were able to get a clearer idea of the kinds of assumptions they can and cannot make based on what is given to them. 

Because I barred questions with yes or no answers, something surprising happened when students got to the picture that showed a "square": some students decided to use rulers and protractors to measure.  Some students even folded the rectangle along one of its diagonals to show that the diagonal was not a line of symmetry, therefore the rectangle could not be a square as well.   This was an unexpected surprise, and I am glad that it came up because it continues to reinforce the transformational lens I want my students to use throughout their year in geometry.  

  Important Decisions to Make When Facilitating the Whole Class Discussion
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Important Decisions to Make When Facilitating the Whole Class Discussion
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Definitely, Maybe

Unit 2: Introducing Geometry
Lesson 1 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to defend assumptions based on their reasoning. Students will also be able to define basic vocabulary needed for Geometry.

Big Idea: Students question assumptions they make, engage in deductive reasoning and defend their reasoning by examining real-life photographs and a geometric figure.

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Subject(s):
Math, Geometry, deductive reasoning, definition, basic properties
  65 minutes
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