Last year was my first year teaching at the high school, and it was definitely an interesting experience. One of the most frustrating things for me was that I didn’t make the move until August, which did not leave much time for planning. Whereas in the past I had come into the year with a list of standards and an idea of how my courses would flow, I went into last year with, essentially, the textbook.
Geometry was the course that suffered the most for my lack of preparation. While our textbook (Holt) isn’t horrible, I never really felt like the year had any sort of flow. And if I felt that way as the teacher, I don’t want to think about how the students felt. In particular, my biggest regret is that I don’t believe my students ever really developed a strong understanding of proof.
So the goal for this year was to write a curriculum that was logical, had a flow to it, and actually developed students’ ability to write and understand proofs. In writing the curriculum, I went back and reviewed the Van Hiele model. In light of this, the course attempts to start at Level 0–1 before slowly moving to Level 3–4 as the year progresses. My hope is that each individual section will do the same.
My second largest failing last year was that too many topics were taught and then dropped. In a course like geometry, where I am asking students to refer back to previous theorems, concepts, and definitions on a daily basis, constant review is critical. To this end, the beginning of the year is filled with some introductory material which will be called upon and extended throughout the year. It is my hope that each section will have many natural opportunities to go back and review, use, and extend earlier sections.
I wanted to focus on the overall flow of the course, so there are no unit lengths, assignments, “I can…” statements, or assessments. Instead, each section has a brief description of the overall goal and then a few points on the specific theorems, constructions, and understandings that students should learn. Of course, that means it’s probably not very useful to anyone, but I’m sharing it anyway. I would love any feedback that anyone wants to share.
- 2013–2014 Geometry Scope and Sequence (.docx)
- Geometry Standards List (.docx) (as used in my class for SBG, and referenced in the Scope and Sequence)