The Geometry Project, aka When Your Mom is A Tech Specialist

About a week ago, my son was assigned a geometry vocabulary project that required him to choose 30 words from a list and visually represent them. The instructions were as follows…

“You are to find these images in the real world. You can personally take pictures, find them on the internet, or find the items in a magazine. You must manually or electronically mark the picture so that I can identify the geometric term in the picture. You will organize these items to present to me in some manner such as gluing the pictures to posterboard, create a “book” of the symbols, or you can do it digitally and burn it to a CD or email them. However, just copied images won’t do, put them in a power point or Prezi presentation. Be Creative!”

My son, the same kid who said in his blog post that he was not going to “do a basic ppt”, fixed his mouth to ask me to head to the store at 11pm for glue and poster board.

That was not an option on any level!

Instead, I handed him my ipad and showed him how to use Haiku Deck which enabled him to use its internal image search to connect his terms.

While this project may seem pretty basic for a high school sophomore, I was pleased to see him not only do it…but do it excitedly. To him, Haiku Deck was new. It was also super simple and to use.

My Haiku Deck Pro-Tip for math vocabulary: Each of my son’s slides had exactly one term. When searching, I taught him to think of a real world object that may have characteristics of the geometric term, and search for that object instead of the word. There were a few words that my son did not know and I knew immediately because the image did not match which meant that we were able to discuss and make better connections.

Of course, a project such as this had its “issues”. We do not own flash drives anymore…so a CD was out of the question. My son exported his Haiku Deck to Keynote, added a few diagrams where needed and then uploaded each keynote image into Animoto which is an auto video creation tool…very old school. However, it was new to him and will probably be extremely new to his teacher.

To turn it in, I shared one more tip with my son…a bit of an homage to him wanting me to buy a poster board. I showed him Tackk.com a digital storytelling/poster tool and encouraged him to create an account which could house his slideshow, and video.

You’ll have to click the image below to view it!

See on Tackk.com
You can also check out his animoto video below!

Comments 6

  1. That is a great presentation. I know if I were a geometry teacher expecting a poster based on those instructions I’d be blown away. Well done!

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      Yep Mike…key phrase, “based on those instructions”…Personally, I would have never assigned this to my students.

  2. Cool — the Animoto video looked really professional, and clearly thought went into finding some of the images. I bet you can’t just search the web for Triangular Prism and get a beautiful A-frame church, for example.

    The image that I had the most questions about was the circle. At first I was like, “wait, that’s not a circle!” but then I looked closer and thought, “yeah, that could be a circle… but how do we know it’s a circle?” Very neat to have so much to talk about here. The right angle and acute angles also made me wonder… how do we know an angle is right or acute and when is that just our perspective?


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      I completely agree with you Max and as a matter of fact, I pushed him on the circle and he went with it anyway because he said that if he were standing above it, it would more than likely be a circle based on the other “manholes” that he has seen. We had the same discussions about the angles and we talked briefly after midnight about using Geogebra or the Nspire app to apply what would in essence be “inaccurate measurements” to those images. We actually folded oversized index cards and viewed them from different perspectives to again…test theory. He decided that he didn’t need to do that right now but I saw it in his face that he was thinking.

      On one of his terms, linear pair, he initially chose an image that was basically a series of lines on a leaf. I had him go back to the definition and think about it again. He chose a different search term and found the one that he used instead.

      At the end of the day, he still didn’t get the point of the activity but on the flip side of that, we got to have some quality time together…even if after midnight.

      1. Aw, see, I knew those were the ones y’all would have talked about. I love that you modeled it with paper to convince yourselves that angles could look right or acute or obtuse from different angles. He’s lucky to have a math teaching mom, whether or not he knows that yet!

        Also, we’re really lucky to have so many options other than poster board and glue stick these days… as a kid who was constantly needing those at 11pm, not to mention needing to go to library to look things up at 10pm on a Sunday night… I am so pleased we have Google and Wikipedia and Prezi and Doctopus and all that stuff. The tradeoff between having to worry about your kid and social media is NOT having to drive your kid all over town on Sunday night!

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          This is exactly why access is critical. Every kid should have access to resources, discussion, tools and collaborators. We don’t honor this reality enough.

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