Reflection: Shared Expectations Definition of Similarity and Similar Triangles - Section 4: Whole Class Discussion and Debrief


A few minutes before beginning the debrief discussion, I used the document camera to display a post-it note with the following message:

Share Out

Convince us of your conclusions with:


-well-labeled diagrams


-something else?


I wanted to explicitly communicate how students would be successful in sharing out their ideas for a few reasons. (1) Giving students advance notice of what I want them to share builds trust and respect, (2) Being clear about expectations minimizes confusion about what students should share, which leads to a focused and rich discussion grounded on students’ ideas, and (3) Displaying the post-it note creates a sense of urgency about the work and builds anticipation for the whole-class discussion.

I found it somewhat surprising that something as simple as putting up a post-it note immediately led to many students refocusing their discussions on how to justify their conclusions in a convincing manner.

  Convince Us of Your Conclusions
  Shared Expectations: Convince Us of Your Conclusions
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Definition of Similarity and Similar Triangles

Unit 12: Triangle Similarity and Trigonometric Ratios
Lesson 1 of 11

Objective: SWBAT apply the definition of similarity to identify measurements in similar figures. SWBAT to argue that HL is a “similarity shortcut” for right triangles.

Big Idea: Students' prior knowledge of transformations and congruence helps them make connections as they learn to use similarity shortcuts.

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