10 October 2006

RightStart Geometry

The continuing saga of our adventures using RightStart Geometry and RightStart B. I have an 11yo and a 7yo who have average math ability.The 11yo 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 65 Tangents to Circles

Working with tangents, radii, and tangent segments, and solving some problems using these concepts. The first group of worksheet problems involves drawing tangents to a circles; the ever-popular “compare with other students in your class” appears. Next, the student is to draw tangent segments from points on either side of a circle and “compare with your classmates”. Kid1 works through all of these problems with no apparent issue.

The book gives some prodding for the last set of problems: “...you need to remember several things. What is the sum of hte angles in a quadrilateral? What is the radius if you know the diameter? What is the angle between a tangent and a radius? Do you remember wome basic Pythagorean triples?” But, alsa, Kid1 bogs down and claims she can’t do it.

I start at the top and review every problem on the worksheet with her. Then we review the answers to all the questions listed above. I comment that the fact that these questions are listed tells us that we probably need to use this knowledge to solve the last couple of problems. Yes, they look complicated on the page (all those segments! all those labels!), but if she breaks it down bit by bit she can figure out the answer.

I hold her hand. “Okay, what do we know? So, if we know this angle, what does that tell us about that angle?” And later, “So, if the length of this side of the triangle is 12, and the length of this side is 5, what’s the length of the other side? Okay, let’s review some basic Pythagorean triples: 3,4,5 and 5,12,13 and 7,24,25 ... so, what do you think?”

I’m not sure how imbedded any of this information is in her brain, but at least she now has experience in solving this type of problem. I wonder if she’ll be able to do it on her own later.

Lesson 66 Circumscribed Polygons

Kid1 is offended that the materials list is incomplete. Other than that, she plugs through the work. I’ve noticed that we alternate upsetting lessons with calm lessons.

Lesson 67 Pi, a Special Number

This lesson is still “in process” at our house. Pi has been discussed and played with for several lessons now; this lesson draws it all together. The history of pi is given, art based on pi is discussed.

There are 2 worksheets. The materials list for the worksheets is simply “ruler”. But, aha, if you’re working with pi (3.14, or maybe 22 over 7) then you’re going to have a bunch of calculations going, right? And they may involve long division, or multi-digit multiplication. And you may realize that back at that previous level of RightStart when you sort of suspected your child didn’t really “get” long division you were right. And that, as a matter of fact, that child has maybe forgotten everything discussed about multiplying with decimal numbers. And, if your child is a stickler for following the rules (because, after all, the materials list didn’t mention using a calculator) she’s feeling low about math right now.

Although I’m fine with her using a calculator to find the answers, she and I agree that she needs to understand how the calculations are done. We have stopped mid-worksheet to review long division.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

math, math, math. woo-hoo for math.

Now tell me the important stuff. How's the new machine? :)