TCM Article – How Wedge You Teach?

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It’s kind of ironic to me that as educators, we work so hard to get our students to use key mathematical terms while explaining their solutions; but at the same time, sometimes we have to stop students from using these terms in order to truly evaluate if they understand the concepts and terms being taught.

I was surprised in this article that so many groups didn’t use the wedge as a unit angle, because to me it seemed like the easiest solution.  This is pretty surprising, because I rarely think the “easiest” solution is the “right” one.  I was amazed at how complex the other groups’ answers were – making a scale from largest, larger, large, large medium, medium, small medium, smaller, to smallest.  I think it just reminded me to never assume what students are going to come up!  Furthermore, given the students’ responses, I think there were several moments in this activity that could have led to other discussions.  It’s something that I think I might struggle with as a teacher- keeping focused at the task on hand.  Sometimes a student will say something and I think it brings up another great point, which leads to another, and so on…. and the next thing you know, the lesson is no longer on the unit-angle concept, but instead more on whether circle size is important to angle measurement.  I know that the concepts are related, but I fear that I’ll run out of time before getting my students to make the proper correlations.

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