Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All About Circles

I created this activity my first year teaching.  It has been one that I have shelved for the last few years, but I am dusting it off and bringing it back.  I even made a few changes.

In class this week, I am really hitting the cooperative learning aspect.  I have arranged my desks in groups of 4, so the entire class period will be spent with a group.  I hope they will be able to take away that group work is not about one person doing the work.  It is about being there to help someone else out.

With 8th grade, we do a quick review over 2d figures.  With this, I include a review over circles. With each group of desks, I have placed these items in a storage box:

  • scissors
  • bottle of glue
  • roll of tape
  • crayons or map colors
  • ruler

Each group will have an information sheet (one for the group), that details the parts of a circle.  They will each use a paper plate to create the same circle.  Each person will be responsible for his/her own circle.  Here are the materials:

  • paper plate
  • plastic straws
  • yarn 
  • glitter
I will manage these supplies and distribute as needed.  I don't like to waste, so these kids will learn how to recyle the left over glitter!

The students will follow these steps:

  • Outline the smaller circle within the plate
  • Use glitter to illustrate each radius (there are three)
  • Use a straw to illustrate the diameter
  • Use yarn to illustrate the chords
  • Shade each central angle one color
  • Shade the inscribed angle one color
  • Label the points

Of course, the diameter will have a straw, glitter and yarn.  In my example, I have them placed on top of each other to show each one.  On the back of the plate, they will create a key.  We will hang a few of them from the ceiling.  On Thursday, they will create a 3d mobile, as well, so my ceiling is about to leak geometry!

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I think the kids will enjoy the hands on activity, and I believe the parts of a circle will sink in a little more than if they just wrote it on paper.

They will also be modeling solids with blocks and beginning the 2d/3d book (I will post this tomorrow).  They are going to be busy little cubs tomorrow, but I find many of them work much better knowing they have a lot to do.

Happy circling!!

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