Reflection: Rigor Line Segments - Section 2: Direct Instruction


In this age of texting and tweeting, it seems that it's becoming harder to get students to be precise with their use and interpretation of mathematical notation. In this lesson, students must distinguish between the notation for line AB, line segment AB, and length of line segment AB.

Having just completed the school year, I have to say that a significant portion of my honors students were still not clear on these distinctions. In some cases, it was a matter of neglect, but in other cases, students really just didn't know. On the final exam, I still had students asking me "Does this say segment or the length of the segment?" and many students failed to use correct notation in their work.

I stressed precision continually this year, but I did not really penalize students for being imprecise. If I had it to do over again, I would be very hard on students at the beginning, taking points of for using imprecise notation. That way, students would develop the habits early on and maintain them throughout the year. I had hoped that my constant harping would do the trick, but this experience taught me that sometimes students (at least mine) need to see a direct correlation between a desired behavior and their grades.

  Demanding precision from the start
  Rigor: Demanding precision from the start
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Line Segments

Unit 2: Geometry Foundations
Lesson 2 of 14

Objective: SWBAT create and interpret geometric notation and diagrams involving line segments and their measures; SWBAT measure line segments and construct line segments to specifications

Big Idea: A picture is worth a thousand words, and symbols are worth 500 or so. In this lesson, students learn the value of geometric diagrams and notation and they learn the importance of precision when creating notation and diagrams.

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Math, segments
  60 minutes
tape measure and pencil
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