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The Geodesic Dome Project

How inquiry project based learning transformed a grade 7 math class.

Rhonda Hergott

on 17 July 2014

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Transcript of The Geodesic Dome Project

For Both Students and Teachers
A Journey of Discovery
The Observation
disengaged and bored
working in isolation of one another
demonstrating low math retention
struggling when applying concepts
unable to explain math concepts
negative attitude towards math
Create an authentic experience that requires students:
to experiment with ideas
make mistakes and learn from them
to have a purpose and audience for their work
to collaborate and think "outside of the box"
to immediately apply mathematical concepts
to become successful problem-solvers and critical thinkers
to listen to each other
to appreciate and utilize the different skills their peers bring to the project
During this experience the teacher will:
guide students on their journey
provide opportunities for rich dialogue
observe the needs of the students
collect data and facilitate small group instruction
introduce required math skills
The Role
Stop focusing on individual strands and instead see where math occurs in the world
Have a "big picture" learning goal
Use the curriculum documents to find the expectations that will be covered during the project
Map out the project
Determine the order of the Minds On topics
Differentiate instruction
Create an inclusive environment for IEP students
The Plan
How can we engage students in mathematics while meeting curriculum requirements?
The Idea
Grade 7 Expectations
1. Solve problems that require the conversion between metric

units of area (i.e., square cm to square m)
2. Estimate and calculate the area of composite two dimensional shapes by decomposing into shapes with known area relationships (e.g., decompose a pentagon into triangles to determine it’s area)
3. Solve problems that involve surface area
Geometry and Spatial Sense
1. construct related lines (e.g., intersecting at 30 degrees)

using angle properties and a variety of tools (e.g., compass, straight edge, protractor, geometry software)
2. sort and classify triangles and quadrilaterals by geometric properties related to symmetry, angles and sides
3. Determine through investigation using a variety of tools relationships among area, perimeter, corresponding side lengths and corresponding angles of congruent shapes
4. Determine through investigation using a variety of tools polygons or combinations of polygons that tile a plane and describe the transformations involved.
Patterning and Algebra
1. represent linear growing patterns using a variety of tools
nd strategies
2. Make predictions of linear growing patterns, through investigation with concrete materials
Minds On Order
1.Congruent vs Similar Shapes
2.Scalene, Isosceles, Equilateral Triangles
(categorizing as well as drawing them – side measurements and angles)
3.Area of a triangle
4.Converting metric units of area
5.Drawing and measuring angles
6.Drawing trapezoids with specific side measurements and angles
7.Calculating the areas of trapezoids
8.Calculating the areas of composite shapes11.Using patterns to determine a bigger amount
Weekly checkups based on Minds On Topic
Invention Log - assignments specific to the project
Data Table
The Question
Where do we go from here?
The Surprise
were engaged
took risks
communicated using math terminology
level of understanding increased
level of enjoyment increased(Can we skip QDPA)
engaged in rich conversations and debates
demonstrated self-reflective learning
worked within their ability level and challenged themselves
Create a floating city
Design a Kinetic sculpture
for our community
In general, students were:
Learning Goal
Grade 7 Math
We will create a life size
geodesic dome
Barbie Bungee Jump
Tesselate a Pillow
Design a miniature golf course that represents our community
Create Infographs on the demographics of our community
Build Carnival games that have a theoretical probability of 30 - 35%
Design an Eco-Home
Use Technology to Tell the World About our Discoveries
The Greater Surprise
For the teacher, this method resulted in:
less marking
less planning
a deeper understanding of student needs
time to coordinate and facilitate focus groups
time to meet the needs of students with learning challenges
student guided directions
and as scary as it sounds, you are not the expert and that is ok
IEP'd students were included and showed confidence in their skills
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