Posted in Geometry, MTBoS

Popcorn Prisms

popcorn prisms

My Honors Geometry students Monday lesson was inspired by a lesson posted by Fawn Nguyen that related to surface are and volume.  I loved the idea of it and figured that the day after Spring Break that also happened to be the day before all school testing would be a great one to review the topics from two weeks ago (and enjoy a snack, yum! 🙂 ).

I totally overestimated my students ability to perform this task.  I was really upset about the experience until I remembered this awesome quote:

“If you haven’t failed in the classroom lately, you aren’t pushing the envelope far enough. “Safe” lessons are a recipe for mediocrity at best.” ~

I like how this quote gives me liberty to try things outside of my comfort zone, potentially mess up and come back and try again.

Very few students were able to construct the prism, measure, and calculate the desired quantities.  I was impressed with the variety of rectangular prisms students created.  However, I found students had a number of difficulties with this project that made it hard to assess students understanding.  The activity was super beneficial and eye opening to me.  I’m writing this post to highlight the fact that I take full responsibility for their errors because I as a teacher did not 1.) give them enough to understand my expectations and 2.) assumed that they had background skills in measuring with a ruler and finding area and volume.  There are so many areas that I need to work on with my students based on their performance during this activity not to mention that surface area and volume are real life skills so I can’t just pass the buck and hope they get it next year. I am struggling with which area to address FIRST.

  • constructing the prism
  • measurement
  • surface area
  • volume

Where would you start? What would you do?

 

 

 

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