Hexagons, part III: Talking [Points] ’bout Hexagons

Apologies for leaving you hanging after my last post. The weekend. The football. These vital, important events sometimes push aside things like writing blog posts about hexagons. But I’m here now!

Let us recommence playing in our hexagon sandbox.

With the success of the Bongard Problems during the previous class, I felt empowered to try yet another new activity: Talking Points.

First we did an introduction to talking points:

And then we did a set of talking points specifically around our hexagon definitions:

During both I realized that it is pretty challenging to manage a group of students and make sure they are following the procedure correctly. My students are really good at dialogue, not so good at taking turns. My hat is off to @cheesemonkeysf on this one!

Once the hexagon talking points activity was finished we segued into some work with conditional statements. Nothing terribly innovative or exciting. Students did a quick warm-up deciding whether statements were true or false, then we discussed the similarities in all of the statements (they were all “If…Then”, they were all either true or false, they were factual). I gave a little lecture and defined some terms. Students did a worksheet to practice finding counterexamples and writing converses.

And then we were out of time. More of the same for homework.

Reflecting, one week in, on the idea of using the hexagons to introduce our geometric proofs unit I am uncertain whether or not it was a good idea. I think it remains to be seen how I tie the hexagons back in further down the road. If I stopped here and we never used them again, this probably wouldn’t be a plan I would use in future iterations of this class. But the unit has only just begun and so hopefully I will find ways to circle back around to hexagon proofs later.

I’ll be sure to report back about when and how I do that.

3 thoughts on “Hexagons, part III: Talking [Points] ’bout Hexagons

  1. After showing parts 1 and 2 to multiple people, I’ve been waiting patiently for part 3! But I totally understand, the weekend, the football 🙂 This feels like a rather brilliant and powerful approach to me– especially the choice to follow parts 1 and 2 with Talking Points– so I was surprised to read that you’re unsure of whether this was a good idea. I’d love to hear how your reflections deepen as you move further into the unit.

    • Thanks so much for your patience!

      I think my uncertainty is a matter of building the airplane while flying it; I don’t yet have a clear idea for where this unit will go and so I believe that this was a good beginning. However, the overall coherence and structure of the unit may wind up needing a different introduction in the long run. All I can do is move forward and then reassess when I’m done. I’m pretty sure the hexagons will make a reappearance, though I’m not yet convinced it will be at the start of the unit.

  2. I love this! I don’t think you or your students are alone in not being very skillful at taking turns and/or listening. Most Americans are not very skillful at it! But like anything worth doing, if a thing is, in fact worth doing, it’s worth doing badly at first because that’s the only way you are going to get better at it.

    So I would take heart and find reason for optimism in the fact that it happened and that it can happen again better next time.

    – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

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