Friday, June 20, 2014

One Resource a (Week)Day #1: Geometry Tasks from a Wonderful Geometry Book

Today's resource du jour is an awesome Geometry book that I found while digging through a stack of old books at school. As soon as I opened the book, I immediately felt its old-publishing style magic, because the first chapter was filled with beautiful geometric pictures, tying shapes and symmetry into culture and arts. In fact, upon a closer look, the entire first chapter is also filled with activities that the students can foreseeably complete at home as enrichment, from drawing perspective drawings to creating fancy visual illusion art of their own! The book (maybe not news to many of you) is titled, Discovering Geometry, An Inductive Approach and it is written by Michael Serra. I really cannot do this book justice, but it really has a gentle and lovely approach to Geometry. For example, to teach the students geometric vocabulary, instead of providing definitions, it provides examples and non-examples. The students would look through the examples and non-examples and attempt to create their own definitions. This is what the book means by inductive approach, which ties in nicely to Common Core mathematical practices.

Also, each section in the book ends with a little fun/challenging exercise called "Improving Visual Thinking Skills" or "Improving Reasoning Skills", that is often open-ended in nature. The task/goal is very specific, but the approach is not specified, which encourages problem-solving and critical thinking, within the framework of a task that has low entry, high ceiling. I can see kids approaching them in a variety of different ways (which again, supports Common Core math practices).

Here are a few sample tasks just from opening the book randomly to a page. They are really all fabulous!

This is really a rich resource if you are going to be a Geometry teacher! I will be on a Geometry team (of 5 teachers) next year, so some of my big-picture assignments may be a bit restricted (compared to last time when I taught Geometry and had full control of my own pacing, content, etc.), but I still LOVE this book because the tasks are short and very doable as extra/fun enrichment outside of class to improve their geometric thinking.

Stay tuned for my One Resource a (Week)Day on Monday!


  1. I was lucky enough to use this book several years ago when my situation was different. I absolutely loved it! My daughter(age 23) was one of my students and she saw a copy on my shelf when she was helping me move and last year. She took the book from the shelf and leafed through the pages, stopping to comment on some of her favorite activities.

  2. Great! If you have some favorite activities, care to highlight them for me??