Reflection: High Quality Task Sector Area Application: The Grazing Goat - Section 2: The Grazing Goat


Sometimes a moment presents itself in which the right thing to do is to interrupt the class.  In the Grazing Goat task, students almost never easily recognize that sectors of different-sized circles are the key to making sense of the problem.   They have to persist and somehow experience a shift in their approach and their thinking.


When I observed students working on the task, I fought the urge to ask questions that would lead students to sectors directly, a task easier said than done.  Instead, I tried to get a sense as to which groups had developed an understanding of the problem that would lead them down the right path.  Once these groups seemed to have a firm hold on their own reasoning, I asked them to spend a few minutes checking in with other groups, interrupting their work to listen to their ideas. 


My goal was to get students to share out about the roadblocks they encountered and how their thinking changed, which I thought would both create safety as well as push forth the idea of persistence in problem solving.  I saw students doing all kinds of things to help the group understand, anything from drawing sketches to even using a shoelace and a pencil case to physically model the grazing goat situation.   

  The Need to Interrupt
  High Quality Task: The Need to Interrupt
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Sector Area Application: The Grazing Goat

Unit 10: Geometric Measurement and Dimension
Lesson 5 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to solve and explain a sector area application problem.

Big Idea: Students use a variety of tools (graph paper, compasses, string) and strategies to solve the Grazing Goat problem in their groups.

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2 teachers like this lesson
Math, Geometry, modeling, Measurement, real world applications, area measurement, space, shapes
  80 minutes
grazing goat
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