24 April 2007

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.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 119 More Golden Goodies

Although Lesson 118 took Kid1 several hours, leaving me filled with dread for this whole Golden Ratio study, this lesson is done quietly and relatively quickly.

One worksheet is simply drawing the golden spiral that can be made by dividing a rectangle into a rectangle-plus-square. So. Cool. I would’ve thought this was one of the coolest math lessons ever if I were a kid doing it. And Kid1 seems to catch the charm.

Golden triangles are also discussed, which are less charming, but not too bad.

Lesson 120 Fibonacci Sequence

“If you ever played the ‘Chain’ games, you will recognize the ones column as a chain.” What are “Chain” games? Should I know this?

Much drawing on the worksheets, which have graph paper on them to help with the drawing. Lots of little bricks and stair steps. I think it’s all great fun. Kid1 doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

The final paragraph asks kids to make up their own Fibonacci problem. “If you think of a good one, let me know at joancotter[rest of email address]”. I think that’s a great touch -- asking the kids to get in touch with the author and share their ideas. Kid1 has no interest in it, of course. Oh well -- someone out there will enjoy it!

Lesson 1221 Fibonacci Numbers and Phi

“Fibonacci spirals are found in the seed heads of dandelions, daisies, and sunflowers.” Enchanting idea, but the second worksheet isn't quite so arty and poetic as this blurb makes Fibonacci sequences sound. It it based on the work of Robert Dimson, the Scottish mathematician. I am called upon to help interpret fn x fn + 2 along with (fn + 1)squared. Once Kid1 sees someone else talk through it, she’s okay with it. She doesn’t even blink at tackling the final problems, which look like: (fn x fn + 2) - (fn + 1)squared = 1 (the question being, is that true when n is even, or when n is odd?).

Lesson 122 Golden Ratios and Other Ratios Around Us

More history of the Golden Ratio, then a chance to run around the house measuring various things. I am asked the dimensions of a legal pad (8.5 by 14) and the television (no clue, you’ll have to measure it yourself).

The worksheet also has questions about the ratios of the 30-60 triangle and the 45 triangle that are used in the course.

The whole thing is accomplished without grumbling and without announcements of how many more lessons are left in the book.

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