Workshop Description

Workshops are generally one to three hours long and focus on a single topic.  School districts will often contract Michael for a series of workshops once a week or twice monthly over a four to eight week period.  Some examples can be seen below.

Pricing is based on length of time,the number of visits, topics requiring special equipment and materials, and amount of travel involved. For more information please contact us at mserramath@gmail.com.


September 13, 2014 Maui, HI - HCTM Geometry Conference

 

"PIrate Geometry"

Download HCTM Pirate Geometry 9.14.2

Saturday, September 13, 2014

8:30 am

Participants will use transformations and polyominoes to solve puzzles in a
Pirate treasure hunt setting. We will explore rectangular, polar and 3D
coordinates. Participants will learn how rotation transformations are used
to create a Grille Cipher. Then use that skill to decipher secret messages
to locate pirate buried treasure. Fun activities to celebrate International
Talk LIke A Pirate Day!

King Kekaulike High School, Maui
121 Kula Hwy
Room H-202
Pukalani, HI 96768

Sign up here!


International Talk Like A Pirate Day

 

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 4.52.57 PM

Ahoy Teachers!

Now there is an official day for you to celebrate your secret pirate passion and have a fun educational day with your students.

September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. ITLAPD was started by Mark Summers and John Baur and is celebrated all over the world. From Mark:

Coming at the beginning of the school year, Talk Like a Pirate Day allows the students to see their teacher's playful side. This should not be viewed as a day wasted on silly nonsense, but as a ‘teachable moment.’ Be creative, take risks and above all, have fun.

Go to their website and find all things pirate along with some curriculum for celebrating ITLAPD in the classroom. Of course, Pirate Math fits in perfectly with this momentous day. We will be posting Pirate Math puzzles on Facebook the month before September 19, 2014.

 


Discovering Geometry Resources

With digital eBooks and teacher resources, you can access electronic versions of your textbook and teaching materials. You can also give your students access to their online textbooks, which contain all the content of the printed textbooks with additional features to enrich their learning experience.

This service is available to schools at no additional cost upon adoption.

The following books are available in Digital eBooks and Teacher Resources.

DG5Cover_lowres

Download Discovering_Geometry_Fifth_Edition_ Product_Sheet

DG_SE_CCSS_Cover

Fourth Edition

 




 



Copyright © 2015 Kendall Hunt Publishing


Flippin' Cool Classroom

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 7.12.39 PM At the California Mathematics Counsel Asilomar 2013, I had the pleasure of watching a presentation by Alex Bega, "Flipping the Secondary Math Classroom".

Alex is currently in her fifth year of teaching at Saint Francis High School. She has taught Precalculus for the past three years and is currently on her second year of teaching in a flipped classroom style. Alex taught K-3 music and 6-8 computer technology before beginning her career as a 9-12 mathematics teacher. 

Alex offers the following categories to help teachers implement the Flipped Classroom: Why Flip, Technology, Results, and Pros and Cons. She breaks down her formula for making and using video in her classroom with clear and field tested procedures.Thank you Alex for your great presentation. You can contact Alex Bega at alexbega@sfhs.com

If you'd like to use the Discovering Geometry® Videos to try out the flipped classroom, try it here

 


Videos de Descubriendo la Geometría

DG4-3.7.3 Incentro (Free Sample) from Michael Serra on Vimeo.

Bien venidos a la suscripción de Videos Discovering Geometry que está diseñada para ser utilizado junto con el aclamado libro, Discovering Geometry. Las investigaciones se demuestran por Michael con conjeturas de terminadas abiertas para que el estudiante complete. Suscripción de Video Discovering Geometry ® puede utilizarse como un tutorial para el nuevo y sustitutos y para los alumnos que son educados en casa o haciendo el aprendizaje independiente. Ideal para usar junto con el libro de texto, especialmente en el ambiente "clase voltiada". Echale un vistazo a la muestra libre de Discovering Geometry serie de vídeo y el trailer.

La suscripción de Video Discovering Geometry está disponible a través de Vimeo On Demand. Padres y guardianes por favor lean los términos de servicio de Vimeo y supervisen las actividades de sus hijos en Vimeo como parte del contenido no es apropiado para todas las edades. Hay registro gratuito y entonces usted puede comprar directamente haciendo clic en las fotos del capítulo siguientes. La suscripción video comienza con el capítulo 3 y termina con el capítulo 11. Los precios de Capítulo se basan de lo largo del videos. La suscripción de cada capítulo es buena para un año. Hay un trailer para todos los vídeos. Póngase en contacto con nosotros si tiene cualquier pregunta o problema.
Chap.3 Tools.000018638153Medium Chap.4 Triangle Prop.3896631_thumbnail
Ch.3 Herramientas de Geometría Ch.4 Propiedades de Triángulos
Chap.5 Polygon Properties.000006056196Medium Chap.6 Circles.000022894097XSmall
Ch.5 Propiedades de Polígonos Ch.6 Propiedades de Círculos
Chap.7 Transformations Tessalations.000005140522XSmall Chap.8 Area.000006266767XSmall
Ch.7 Transformaciones y Teselacione Ch.8 Area
Chap.9 Pythagorem.000022184732XSmall Chap.10 Volume.000013857719Medium
Ch.9 Teorema de Pitágoras Ch.10 Volumen
Chap.11 Similiarity.000019318637_ExtraSmall  
Ch.11 Semejanza  

Descubriendo la Geometría La Serie de Video

Bien venidos a la suscripción de Videos Discovering Geometry que está diseñada para ser utilizado junto con el aclamado libro, Discovering Geometry. Las investigaciones se demuestran por Michael con conjeturas de terminadas abiertas para que el estudiante complete. Suscripción de Video Discovering Geometry ® puede utilizarse como un tutorial para el nuevo y sustitutos y para los alumnos que son educados en casa o haciendo el aprendizaje independiente. Ideal para usar junto con el libro de texto, especialmente en el ambiente "clase voltiada". Echa un vistazo a la muestra libre de Discovering Geometry serie de vídeo y el trailer.

La suscripción de Video Discovering Geometry está disponible a través de Vimeo On Demand. Padres y guardianes por favor lean los términos de servicio de Vimeo y supervisen las actividades de sus hijos en Vimeo como parte del contenido no es apropiado para todas las edades. Hay registro gratuito y entonces usted puede comprar directamente haciendo clic en las fotos del capítulo siguientes. La suscripción video comienza con el capítulo 3 y termina con el capítulo 11. Los precios de Capítulo se basan de lo largo del videos. La suscripción de cada capítulo es buena para un año. Hay un trailer para todos los vídeos. Póngase en contacto con nosotros si tiene cualquier pregunta o problema.
Chap.3 Tools.000018638153Medium Chap.4 Triangle Prop.3896631_thumbnail
Ch.3 Herramientas de Geometría Ch.4 Propiedades de Triángulos
Chap.5 Polygon Properties.000006056196Medium Chap.6 Circles.000022894097XSmall
Ch.5 Propiedades de Polígonos Ch.6 Propiedades de Círculos
Chap.7 Transformations Tessalations.000005140522XSmall Chap.8 Area.000006266767XSmall
Ch.7 Transformaciones y Teselacione Ch.8 Area
Chap.9 Pythagorem.000022184732XSmall Chap.10 Volume.000013857719Medium
Ch.9 Teorema de Pitágoras Ch.10 Volumen
Chap.11 Similiarity.000019318637_ExtraSmall  
Ch.11 Semejanza  

Proof in Discovering Geometry

Proof in Discovering Geometry pdf 

Geometry has traditionally been the course in which a deductive structure is first taught and formalized. This is tradition, but not good pedagogy. In a subject that is highly visual we ask students to deny what they see until they have performed this mysterious ritual called a two-column proof.

The van Hiele Model

Whenever there is discussion about proof in geometry we should first review the research of Dina van Hiele-Geldorf and her husband Pierre van Hiele. Their research resulted in the van Hiele model of geometric reasoning. Research by numerous mathematics educators including Usiskin 1982; Senk 1985; Burger and Shaughnessy 1986; Geddes and Fry 1988; Clements and Battista 1992; and more recently Battista 2007, support the accuracy of the van Hiele model. The model consists of five levels of geometric reasoning that students pass through from pre- deductive visual thinking to an understanding of formal proof and mathematical structures.

Level 0:        Visualization –students can identify rectangles by sight but squares are squares and are not seen as special rectangles.

Level 1:         Analysis (descriptive) – students can identify properties of rectangles (by drawing, measuring, and making models) but cannot yet derive other properties from given.

Level 2:        Informal Deduction – students can give an informal argument to justify that the figure is a rectangle from given properties.

Level 3:        Formal Deduction – students are capable of creating original logical arguments.

Level 4:        Rigor – students are capable of reasoning about mathematical structures (i.e. Euclidean -vs.- non-Euclidean geometries).

The van Hiele model asserts these levels are sequential and hierarchical. That is, students cannot move to the next higher level until they have successful mastered the previous level. Furthermore movement from a lower level to the next higher level depends more on content and pedagogy than on maturity and age.

The van Hiele research shows students aren’t ready for formal proof until they have had concrete experiences with geometric figures and have successfully mastered earlier levels of visual thinking. Research shows 70% of high school students enter geometry operating at level 0 or 1 on the van Hiele measure of geometric reasoning (Shaughnessy and Burger 1985; Senk 1989). Yet "traditional" geometry textbooks that begin with establishing postulates and proving theorems are expecting students to immediately begin their geometry experience at levels 3-4. When the teacher and the textbook are presenting geometry at van Hiele level 3 or higher, while the students are functioning at level 0 or 1, it should be no surprise that there is such a high failure rate in traditional geometry courses.

From Mathematician's Delight by English Mathematician W.W. Sawyer (1911-2008)

It would, I suppose, be quite possible to teach a deaf and dumb child to play the piano. When it played a wrong note, it would see the frown of its teacher, and try again. But it would obviously have no idea of what it was doing, or why anyone should devote hours to such an extraordinary exercise. It would have learnt an imitation of music. And it would fear the piano exactly as most students fear what is suppose to be mathematics.

Some geometry teachers claim they can successfully teach all of their geometry students how to create geometry proofs. Perhaps they only have those 30% that are entering geometry and functioning above van Hiele levels 0 and 1. I suspect however, they may also be teaching an "imitation geometry." Their students are trained to go through the motions of stating the theorem about to be proved (5 points), then stating the given (5 points), then stating the show (5 points), then drawing the diagram to the right (5 points), then drawing the big T (5 points), then putting the given information in the first few lines of the T-proof (5-15 points), then writing given to the right of each statement (5-15 points), then throwing in enough statements to garner enough points to get credit for the exercise without having any clue as to what he or she was doing or why anyone should devote hours to such an extraordinary exercise. They are doing imitation geometry.

Discovering Geometry, in its first edition, was an innovator in addressing students’ needs for gradual development of the deductive process. Discovering Geometry is the only high school geometry textbook on the market that is aligned with the van Hiele model and other research on geometric proof. We accept the vast majority of student are entering geometry at very low van Hiele levels of geometric reasoning and our goal, with careful deliberate scaffolding, is to move them to higher and higher levels of geometric reasoning as they progress through the course.

The Role and Function of Proof

Geometry student's consistent difficulties with understanding proofs (an international problem BTW) should not be solely attributed to their inability to reason but perhaps our inability to recognize there are many purposes for doing proofs and we have been stressing the wrong purposes for proof at inappropriate times. Professor Michael de Villiers' research on the role and function of proof identifies six basic roles for proof:

•    Verification –to remove doubt, to convince someone of the truth of a statement

•    Systematization –organize known results into a deductive system of postulates, definitions, and theorems

•    Explanation –insight into why something is true

•    Discovery –proof can occasionally lead to new unexpected results

•    Communication –proof can create a forum for critical debate

•    Intellectual Challenge –proof can be a testing ground for intellectual stamina and ingenuity

 

The function of proof in a high school geometry course has been mostly two-fold: to remove doubt, to convince someone of the truth of a statement –verification and to establish geometry as a mathematical system –systematization.

Many high school mathematics teachers seem to hold this naive view the main function of proof is to provide verification that a given statement is true. The role of proof as a means of verification is a useful method of verifying the "truth" of a proposition within a mathematical system, especially when coming across surprising (non-intuitive) results. However this view does not stand up to actual mathematician's experiences. Professor George Polya wrote, “When you have satisfied yourself that the theorem is true, you start proving it.” If the sole or primary purpose for doing proofs in a high school geometry course is to provide verification of the truth of a statement then students functioning below level 4 on the van Hiele scale will continue to question, or worse, disregard the process of proof.

If systematization is emphasized as a primary function of proof right from the start of a geometry course, the same poor results will persist. The van Hiele model tells us systematization requires the highest van Hiele level of geometric reasoning. Geometry textbooks that begin their geometry program with lists of definitions and postulates, and then begin doing two-column proofs are ignoring the research. Only an honors course or any class in which all students are finally operating at van Hiele level 4 would have any chance of success in a course that looks at geometry from the perspective of a mathematical system. Until some magic happens and all students beginning geometry enter the course functioning at van Hiele level 3, any attempt to create a mathematical system for a regular or informal geometry course is likely to continue to have major problems.

Students can acquire a very high degree of confidence in a conjecture arrived at by inductive methods but these methods may not explain why the conjecture is true. Here is where proof can come to the rescue. An example would be the inductive discovery that the sum of the measures of the three angles of a triangle is always 180°. A good inductive first approach would be to ask students to measure the three angles of a number of triangles thus gaining reasonable confidence the sum is indeed 180°. The same can be done with dynamic geometry software. Either investigative approach is a good first step because it is the first approach students would take. These inquiry approaches do give students confidence in their conjecture however they give no insight as to why the sum is always 180°. The investigation should be followed by a second investigation where they cut out the triangle and then tear off two of the angles and arrange them on both sides of the third angle to create a straight line. From this arrangement they can see the three angles create a line parallel to the third side. This visually explains what properties this conjecture is dependent upon and why the conjecture is true. This can also be done quickly with a patty paper investigation.

From The Role and Function of Proof in Mathematics by Michael de Villiers:

 It is not a question of "making sure," but rather a question of "explaining why."

Explanation as the Primary Role of Proof

Using proof as a means of explaining why something is true is the most meaningful role proof can play in a high school geometry course. Asking why something is true, after performing investigations that have convinced students it is true, is a powerful 1-2 punch. Explaining why can be an effective tool regardless of a student's van Hiele level. This is the approach we take with Discovering Geometry.

In practically every lesson in the fourth edition of Discovering Geometry (DG4) students are asked to perform geometric investigations and then make their geometry conjectures. After performing their investigation and making their conjecture they are asked, "can you explain why?" For example, after their very first two investigations leading to geometric conjectures, the Linear Pair Conjecture and the Vertical Angles Conjecture, students are asked:

"Developing Proof You used inductive reasoning to discover both the Linear Pair Conjecture and the Vertical Angles Conjecture. Are they related? If you accept the Linear Pair Conjecture as true, can you use deductive reasoning to show that the Vertical Angles Conjecture must be true?"

We then ask them to work with their cooperative group members to develop a paragraph proof explaining why the conjecture is true then check their reasoning with ours.

Later after discovering the Triangle Sum Conjecture students are asked:

"Developing Proof The investigation may have convinced you that the Triangle Sum Conjecture is true, but can you explain why it is true for every triangle?"

We then direct them to look back at the arrangement of the three angles they tore off and reassembled forming a line. We ask, "how is the resulting line related to the original triangle?" This is their lead-in to creating a paragraph proof explaining why their conjecture fits with what they have already discovered/proved about parallel lines.

The inductive and deductive reasoning in DG4 continues with investigating, conjecturing, and explaining why, from Chapter 2 through Chapter 12. It isn't until the last chapter, when there may be students ready for van Hiele level 4 reasoning, that we introduce geometry as a formal mathematical system.

Again from Mathematician's Delight by English Mathematician W.W. Sawyer (1911-2008)

The Great Pyramid was built in 3900 B.C. by rules based on practical experience: Euclid's system did not appear until 3,600 years later. It is quite unfair to expect children to start studying geometry in the form that Euclid gave it. One cannot leap 3,600 years of human effort so lightly! The best way to learn geometry is to follow the road which the human race originally followed: Do things, make things, notice things, arrange things, and only then –reason about things.

Once deductive arguments began to sprout up around Ancient Greece, it still took awhile for the process to be accepted. From the first deductive arguments by Thales to Euclid's Elements, it took over 300 years. We owe it to our students to give them time to move up through the van Hiele levels so they come to understand the role proof plays in mathematics.