29 August 2006

RightStart Geometry

The continuing saga of our adventures using RightStart Geometry and RightStart B. I have a 10yo and a 6yo who have average math ability.The 10yo has done Miquon, Singapore, RightStart Transitions, Level D and Level E; RightStart has saved her from a life a math phobia.

On Tuesdays I upload an update of what we did in math for the week.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 44 Measure of the Angles in a Polygon

Now that the student understand the idea of supplementary angles, she can start applying that knowledge to polygons. Well, theoretically she should be able to do this. In reality, the student is a bit surprised that she’s actually doing something with all that rigamorole about supplementary angles from the last lesson.

My personal favorite part of the lesson is the paragraph that begins with bold type: “A tough question” and goes on to say, “You can skip this paragraph if you aren’t curious or already know why you can’t divide the quadrilateral into three triangles.” I think it’s daring and wonderful to tell kids they can skip parts of the math book, and customize what they learn.

The worksheet instructions casually mention that “there is a little algebra.” Hey, no big deal. By now the student-reader realizes that “algebra” isn’t something to worry about.

Lesson 45 Classifying Triangle by Sides and Angles

After a review of equilateral, isosceles, scalene, acute, right and obtuse triangles, it’s time to play little math games. You’re given measures of some angles of the triangle, and need to find the rest. I think stuff like this is fun. Kid1 doesn’t immediately catch on to how it’s done, but eventually gets into the swing of it.

She claims she doesn’t know what complementary angles are. I point out the definition back in lesson 43 (the front of the book lists when all vocabulary is introduced, so it’s easy to look up).

Lesson 46 External Angles of a Triangle

More fun figuring out angles, adding up to and subtracting from 180 in your head. Remeber in earlier years of math when that was a big deal -- adding and aubtracting 3 digits in your head? Now you barely notice you’re doing it, you’re so swept away by the fascinating angles.

Kid1 thinks she’s found an error in the book. When we look at it together we discover the book is correct.

Lesson 47 Angles Formed With Parallel Lines

“Mommy, this book makes angles so much more fun than any other math book!”

Take that curriculum review for what it’s worth -- she hasn’t seen that many other math books, particularly any that have much to do with angles. Today’s lesson is all about corresponding, interior, exterior, and alternate angles, as well as what a transversal is. The tone is light and fun.

Lesson 48 Triangles with Congruent Sides (SSS)

“Here you get a chance to use those inequalities you have been writing since first grade.” Yep, it’s time to use the greater-than less-than signs. The student cuts out strips of paper, then plays around with them to see what triangles can be formed. I happen to be working nearby, so have an opportunity to discuss that sometimes it seems other triangles can be formed because the strips she’s using are actually rectangles instead of lines.

My favorite line in the book: “You don’t have to memorize this, just think about what happens when you try to make a triangle.” Once again, RightStart emphasizes understanding a concept over memorizing it.


KathyJo said...

So can RightStart Geometry be used if you've never used any of the other RightStart books? I've *really* been considering it for my oldest for next year, and your comments about it have finished deciding me. :)

GailV said...

Yes, this seems like a program that can be marketed to homeschoolers or schools that haven't used RightStart up to this point. I know that we skipped several lessons towards the end of RS Level E that had a direct correlation in the Geometry program -- enough info was presented in the Geometry that it didn't matter that we'd skipped. As a matter of fact, it could be an advantage with some kids -- I could picture some kids whining about the repeat lessons -- "But Moooooom, we did this last year! Why do I have to do it again?"

For my dd, the repeat lessons have been helpful since she's been afraid of venturing out and doing math On Her Own. The lower levels of RightStart are very parent-intensive, and featured much handholding. Geometry suddenly throws the student into solo math. If your child is used to working alone and just coming to you for questions, then RS Geometry will be fine.

It might be skimpy on directions for use of drafting equipment (T-square, etc.). We never pay attention to those types of directions, so have no idea if they're adequate.

KathyJo said...

Thanks, Gail. That's very helpful. :) Now I'm going to work on my son to convince him that he's excited about this. ;) (Actually, I think he will enjoy it.)