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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Geometry getting you down?

This week's Mr. Teacher column on is all about the perils and pitfalls of third grade geometry. I'm not even talking about proofs and theorems and complementary angles or insulting angles! Just the ability to name two and three dimensional shapes often escapes my students.

I especially love it when I ask a child, "What shape is this?" and they reply, "polygon." Sure, in the Cliff Claven, Who are three people that have never been in my kitchen before sense of the question -- it's technically correct. But that's like someone pointing at Lassie and asking, "What kind of dog is she?" and you replying, "mammal."


Betty said...

I know what you mean. When I taught sixth grade math, I brought in boxes and different shaped containers so my students could find the area, surface area, volume, etc., and some students were always getting them confused. We had to cover a lot of objectives, so we had to just keep moving.

Clix said...

It's too bad you can't re-teach them to count. You know, mono, bi, tri, etc. But then you've got all these alternates, like tetrahedron and quadrilateral. Darnit!