Transversals, Parallel Lines and Discovering Angle Properties

The #MTBoS is a wonderful place.  Sometimes the only problem is deciding which awesome activity I will do, since I don’t have time to do them all!  Luckily, I had a block day, so I was able to use two great activities that I found, and even add one of my own.

IMG_2108After reading Jessica’s post about “Dance, Dance, Transversal”, I knew I had to do it.  As I desperately miss the high energy of middle schoolers, I am often trying to infuse some fun and spirit into my HS student’s day. I couldn’t wait to have them dance, but didn’t want to spend more than about 10 minutes dancing because we had a lot of work to do.  However, since I was going to spend all of that time putting tape up the floor (and it turns out even more time taking it off – tip for you, use PAINTER’S TAPE, not regular masking tape), I wanted to see if I could use those lines for more than one activity.  The result?  A lighting round of Geometry Jeopardy!

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 7.42.33 AMWhen the students came in, I instructed them to find a partner and have a seat on a set of lines on the floor.  I gave each student the graphic organizer, and a post-it note.  I then projected a similar set of lines on the board and asked them questions.  They were to put their post-it note on the answer. Then we recorded the correct answer on the graphic organizer.  For example,…

I loved this because students had to work together, each with one post-it, to decide not only what an “alternate interior angle” was, but which set to put their post-its on.

After this activity, we did a short round of “Dance, Dance Transversal”.  After the partner post-it activity, the kids decided to dance with their partner first.  So for alternate exterior angles, each student would stand on one angle.  The game had been described as one person dancing while the other partner watched, but I think this worked out better because everyone was involved at the same time.  Plus, it took more talking to decide where to step when each angle was “called”.  Unfortunately, I was too involved in the action or I would have taken a video of this!  It was great fun!

After learning the names of all of the angles made by a transversal, it was time to move on to parallel lines.  I am trying to incorporate Geogebra, so I borrowed and adapted this lovely discovery activity from Tina Cardone.  Of course I made it into a foldable!  My instructions were adapted from the amazing Kate Nowak.  I especially love her “teacher checkpoints”, where the students have to call me over to approve their work before moving on to the next step.  This greatly helped to prevent students from going down the wrong path for too long, which sometimes happens with discovery lessons!  For instance, many students didn’t “construct” parallel lines, they merely drew two lines that looked parallel.  So, when students called me over I would move a line to ensure the other line moved parallel with it. Another checkpoint was measuring angles in Geogebra.  This can be tricky, and pretty frustrating to the students.  Seeing angles of 257 degrees are not going to help them understand which angles are congruent.

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These activities seemed to work well, as two days later in class they all knew not only what the angle pairs were, but which ones and even when they were congruent.  I did have to remind a few students that they are only congruent when the lines are parallel.  Next year, I will be careful to make sure the tape lines on the floor do NOT look like parallel lines.

Here are my advisee’s making sure there was room to dance on the lines.  They are so much fun.

Here are the files on Box.  Let me know if you make it better!  🙂