*Lesson 1: Introduction to Quadrilaterals (What makes you say that?)
Objective: The purpose is to have students identify the key aspects of various types of quadrilaterals. By varying the quadrilaterals used for the activity, this lesson can be used with students as young as 3rd or 4th grade up through a high school Geometry class. For the purpose of this blog, I will tailor it to 10th grade Geometry class.
Timing: Approximately 45 minutes (can be completed in one class period) with a follow up assessment the next class.
Materials: Pictures of various types of quadrilaterals, including a general quadrilateral, rectangle, square, trapezoid, parallelogram, kite, rhombus. Clipboards or other hard surface students can use to write on during Gallery Walk.
- Introduce students to the Thinking Routine “What makes you say that?” by posting the pictures of the quadrilateral, rectangle, and square at the front of the classroom. Students will be familiar with these shapes from previous math classes. Explain that we are reviewing these shapes as an introduction to the Thinking Routine, “What makes you say that?” and ask students to take a few minutes to jot down some observations about each shape. Students can draw on their prior knowledge of these shapes or just what they can conclude from the pictures.
- Begin a group discussion by having students share some of their observations. As observations are provided, record them on or around the picture with which they are associated. Ask the student the follow-up question “What makes you say that?” Open the question to the class for additional/alternative answers.
- Once students have a feel for listing observations and also asking themselves why they can make that observation, split students into small groups of 3-4. Place the pictures of trapezoids, parallelograms, kites, and rhombuses around the room to create a Gallery Walk. (See The Teacher Toolkit for an introduction to Gallery Walks if you are not familiar. http://www.theteachertoolkit.com/index.php/tool/gallery-walk) Have students spend 2-3 minutes at each picture, making observations about what they see. Let students know they will, once again, be asked “What makes you say that?” for their observations. Groups should start practicing their justifications while noting their observations.
- Repeat step 2, taking observations from groups this time.
Assessment: To start the next class, hand students a quadrilateral as they enter the classroom. Ask students to classify the quadrilateral based off the observations they made last class.
Social Media: This Quadrilaterals Song is a parody of a popular Imagine Dragons song that students will likely recognize. Use it as an opener or closer on the first day, or have it playing while students are classifying their quadrilateral on Day 2.
Lesson 2: Normal Distribution (Headlines)
Objective: Conclude an introduction to the Normal Distribution with the Headlines Thinking Routine to help students focus on key aspects of the distribution. This could be used with a high school statistics class or functions and modeling class.
Timing: 15 minutes at the close of class, with an informal assessment at the start of the next class.
Materials: Markers and paper
Process: Use an activity of your choice to introduce students to the Normal Distribution. For example, this popcorn activity from the American Statistical Association. After the lesson, ask students to write a headline that might appear in a newspaper about the Normal Distribution. It could be a key feature, a tip for using the distribution, etc. Give them a couple minutes to work independently, then ask students to share their headlines with a neighbor or two. As a small group, refine the headlines as needed and then write them on paper to be posted around the room.
Assessment: In the next class period, supply students with a practice problem that utilizes the Normal Distribution. Ask students to work independently or with a neighbor to solve the problem, using the headlines as a reminder of the important aspects. After reviewing the problem, ask students “Which headlines were most useful?” “Are there any you would like to refine or modify?”