The Follow Up:
A couple of weeks ago, I shared an Area of Shapes Scavenger Hunt that I created for my students to use during our upcoming Geometry Unit. (To read more about this activity, view my “Area of Shapes Scavenger Hunt via Google Slides” post. As always, I find it is important to reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, and what I would do in the future.
Originally, my intention was for my students to complete this activity over a two day period in our math class. However, I was unexpectedly out of the classroom and had to modify my plans. My modification was that this activity would become an “enrichment activity” for my students who had completed their assignments while I worked with my “intervention” group in small group tutorials. Although it was not my original intention, I found that this worked really well as an enrichment activity.
So, here are my five takeaways from this activity:
1.) Students needed the two days that I originally planned on giving them.
Even as an enrichment activity, one day was not enough for students to finish this activity. Finding the shapes and uploading them into the Google Slide took some time, so it would have been beneficial to have more time to complete this activity in class.
2.) Students need time to reflect on their learning.
Next year, I want to add a reflection piece to the Google Slide to challenge students to reflect on what they learned from this activity and how calculating the area of shapes in the “real world” would be important. At the moment, I am imagining a slide at the end of the Slide Deck that has questions and/or a text box for a written reflection. Nothing to complicated – but something that does require them to reflect on what they have learned from this activity.
3.) Student wanted to go outside the classroom and explore the shapes on campus.
Since I had students in tutorial groups, we were limited to exploring the shapes on campus. Mostly, the students found shapes in our classroom and right outside the door of our classroom. It worked but the students really wanted to go outside and find other shapes. This would be one of those amazing activities to get students out of our “four walls” and into the world.
4.) Trapezoids are difficult to find in the “real world”.
So…Trapezoids are really difficult to find on campus. Next time, I need to spend some time looking for trapezoids on our campus to give the students some clues. Since we couldn’t seem to find a lot of trapezoids in our classroom, some of the students reverted to creating their own trapezoids, finding them online, or in a textbook.
5.) I should have bought more measuring tapes from the Dollar Tree.
At one point, I had about 12+ measuring tapes that I had bought from the Dollar Tree but I think the wear and tear of student use has brought my count down to 5-6 measuring tapes. Students were able to use rulers to measure the shapes but it became difficult when some of the shapes were over 1 foot. There are so many measuring tapes at the Dollar Tree for (duh) $1, so I need to purchase more in advance for the next time we do this activity.
Overall, I felt like this activity has a lot of potential, even though I did not feel like I had the time to allow all my students to participate in the scavenger hunt. However, it did prove to be a great “beta” test with my student that challenged them to think about Geometry that is in the “real world” rather than just on their Chromebook or in a textbook.