Master Teacher Stephanie Conklin’s ‘Calling All Quads’
Stephanie Conklin is one of our rockstar Geometry Master Teachers. She leads Geometry classes at Saratoga Springs High School in Saratoga Springs, New York.
We asked Stephanie to tell us more about her student-led lesson ‘Calling All Quads’ where students create and debut presentations about quadrilaterals.
Take it away, Stephanie!
“In this lesson, my students were required to present a short in-class project about a quadrilateral which we were studying (i.e. a rhombus, isosceles trapezoid, rectangle, or square). The entire class did a great job presenting their quadrilateral and each small group seemed very enthusiastic about their shape. After our presentations, one of my creative, animated students asked, ‘Can we make a video about our shape?’ To be perfectly honest, my entire class had been asking to create a second video after a very successful project we completed earlier in the year on Triangle Proofs.
I asked for a day to think about this, and the next class, surveyed the class to see who would be interested in extending out short project into a full-blown video project. Opinions varied. Some students passionately voiced their desire to plan, shoot and create a video featuring real-world examples of their quadrilateral, while other students felt uncomfortable being in the spotlight. So, we all compromised. Students were given the choice to create a video or a poster of their quad.
Naturally, I worried about losing precious, precious time by completing this additional project. However, while looking over our unit schedule, I realized since we had a review day planned, the videos and poster presentations could be a natural way to have students articulate their learning, critique the work of others and also actively engage in a review. “
Thanks, Stephanie! Inspiring work!
Stephanie’s lesson is aligned to Common Core state standards HSG-CO.A.3 and HSG-CO.C.11. These are standards that easily facilitate Math Practice Standard 3. In “Calling All Quads, students worked in groups so that they could create presentations to present and explain their quadrilaterals. Students naturally demonstrate Math Practice Standard 3 when they work together to build a presentation around quadrilaterals.
It’s really fascinating to hear stories about students who become inspired to do more than what a lesson asks for in this case, Stephanie’s students wanted to go above and beyond the lesson to create video projects for their quadrilateral presentations. It’s even more fascinating when a teacher embraces that desire to heighten and continue the organic learning in the classroom.