Moving Forward, Turning Back

September 9, 2015

A few days ago, Robert completed Geometry section from Level F Momentum Math.  That was the only part of the curriculum we skipped previously mainly because I wasn’t sure if I was capable of teaching Robert the  Pythagorean Theorem.  I probably wasn’t.  Nonetheless, I had to try. All other sections were much easier to teach.  It helped that over the past few years, Robert had a few other opportunities to learn about polygons and circles. He also practiced calculating their perimeters (or circumferences) and areas by mechanically applying proper formulas.

So I didn’t present Robert with something entirely new.  I mainly opted for refreshing former skills, better organizing the facts, and applying formula in different contexts.  So Robert was finding areas of rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, and circles.  There was no formula for area of trapezoid. Instead, Robert had ample opportunities to practice counting areas of shapes made of a few simple polygons or circles.  With my help he noticed that the trapezoid was made of parallelogram and a triangle thus he could add the area of both shape to come with an answer.

He followed the algorithm

  1. Divide the shape into two or more polygons (or circles).
  2. Write a formula for area of each of the simple shape.
  3. Plug in the measurements into formula and do all the arithmetic operations.
  4. Add all the areas.

Although, Robert still hesitates while following those directions he seems to grasp the idea.  Now it is time to go back to the previous chapter and relearn Pythagorean Theorem.




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