Reflection: Perseverance Area Construction Challenge - Section 3: Problem #4


The first time I ever saw problem #4, I literally was confounded for two days. I couldn't stop thinking about the problem and yet I was making no progress. I had several ideas. One even woke me out of my sleep and got me out of bed in the middle of the night. But none of these initial attempts were fruitful. In hindsight, what was holding me back for so long was that I wasn't willing to imagine that the solution could be very complex and involve lots of math. I was thinking small and so I was looking for simple and quick solutions. This kept me from trying things that eventually ended up working once I let myself think bigger. I wouldn't rest until I got this problem right, and when I did get it right, it was exhilarating. This really brought home for me what it means to persevere in solving problems. There are elements of frustration bordering on suffering that almost seem to be the cost of admission to the problem. But then there is also the payoff. This experience makes me think about how I want my students to experience the same payoff that I experienced. The difficult part is getting them to persist through the "suffering" phase.

  The power of persevering
  Perseverance: The power of persevering
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Area Construction Challenge

Unit 10: Areas of Plane Figures
Lesson 7 of 8

Objective: SWBAT Use Classic Constructions to Solve Problems

Big Idea: Students need worthy challenges in order to practice perseverance. Well, look no further, these construction problems are the real deal.

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