Monday, November 23, 2015

Crazy Huge Puzzle

My freshmen, as you may have read in a previous post, really like puzzles.  They say that puzzles are way better than worksheets.

So I decided to make a crazy huge puzzle.  (Note:  I noticed when I ran this sheet a second time that it is kind of small.  The first time it was a full page.  You may need to play around with it.)  Then I made a sheet to explain the rules and to record answers on.  There are four given angle measures, along with some 90 degree angle markers.

What I like about this activity is that they need to use what they know about special angle pairs, triangles, exterior angles, etc. in order to do this.  There are also multiple ways to get the measures of many of the angles, so they can check their work.  But the very best part about this activity is that there is not enough given information to complete the puzzle!

I gave each group 5 chips (each group got a different color).  These allow them to buy an angle (or a hint) from me.  They had to choose a banker who would come to my desk to make a purchase.  Here is the answer key.  If I have any wrong answers, please leave a comment!

The minimum I had to "buy" in order to complete this was 2 angles.  I tried it several different ways, and each time I got stuck and need to buy 2 angles, but not always the same angles!

Kiddos were totally engaged for a full 45 minutes.  They begged for more time to complete it tomorrow.

Some great things I overheard:

"No!  Don't buy anything yet!  We need to be sure there is nothing else we can do on our own!"

"Wait: yesterday we did that exterior angle thing.  I think we could do that.  Y'know, add up the 2 far away angles?"

"Are you SURE about that?  How come?  Where did you get that number?"

Things I would do differently next time:

  • reduce the number of chips to 3
  • make sure the groups are no more than 3 people.  (I had one group of 4, and it just seemed the 3 person groups had all members engaged, where the 4 person group had one that just sort of sat back....maybe just the dynamics?  He was totally able to do the work, just chose to do more watching than doing.  I think 2 groups of 2 would have worked better.)
  • Allow a little more time.  We have 80 minute classes.  If I had given a whole hour, they could have finished it.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! Wish I was teaching Geometry this term so I could 'borrow' it!