If you are taking geometry this year, here are a few tips that can make your year easier. Geometry is really unlike any math you have had before. Much of it is based on logic and visualization.
Different kinds of math require different kinds of skills, and Geometry is definitely logic based. Learning Geometry will help your thought processes and the flow of your problem solving.
Below are some suggestions to help you navigate this math course that is a bit different.
My first suggestion is to learn constructions, the technique of using only a compass and a straightedge to draw (or construct) geometric parts and shapes.
Unfortunately few geometry classes teach constructions any more. But they will really help you understand the postulates and theorems that are at the heart of geometry. A great website for learning constructions is at the Math Open Reference site. This website takes you right through from the basics of copying a line segment precisely to complex constructions such as a perfect regular pentagon.
So head on over to Office Max and pick up a good compass and straightedge (they're on the back wall with drafting supplies) and get started. When others start struggling with the geometric concepts, you'll be glad you did.
Put this program (app) on your computer to really help you understand what is happening with the concepts and theorems in geometry. The program is free and is used in schools and universities all over the country. With it you can draw a triangle and then change its size without changing its shape or change its shape without changing its area. Interact with the geometry and turn the words from the book into visuals that explain. It's great. It helps you learn. It's free. What's not to like? Get Geogebra here.
Play Some Games
Geometry requires a lot of logical, step-by-step thinking, which is something most kids have not yet been taught. It is based on valid inductive and deductive reasoning. You can learn how to think in this fashion by playing a few games that require these skills. Grab some buddies and play Clue or Mastermind or pick up a copy the book The Lady or the Tiger by Raymond Smullyan. These are all fun ways to give yourself skills in logical thinking and put you ahead of your classmates.
Best Tools for Geometry Class
It always makes sense to do a job with the proper tools. I discussed the best tools for geometry class in a post last year. You can find it here.
About this Page
I have had a rewarding and complete classroom career teaching and coaching mathematics.
Variable Thinking is my way of sharing some of my ideas, tips, and savvy about education and student success with you.
I hope find the comments and articles interesting and useful to both you and your student.