Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chocolate is the Answer to Life

Last week, I was trying to teach my kids about segment and angle addition along with what it means to have a midpoint or bisector. After a couple days of practicing, writing, and solving the equations that are formed, I moved on thinking they got it. They took a quiz, and I realized they had NO clue what I was talking about. So like any good teacher, we practiced it some more, made a poster, drew pictures, and wrote lots of equations. 

On Friday, we came back to those topics in the warm-up, and they looked at me like, "An equation? You want us to come up with an equation without you giving it to us?? WHAT?" I was so frustrated because we had spent almost 5 days on these topics, and they still had no idea that you can add two segments together and get one big segment or two halves of something equal each other. (Banging my head against a wall here.) Bonus: We were going to take a test during the second period that I see them that day, and they were clearly not ready. At this point, I was at a loss with no clue how to help clarify things for them. 

BUT then I thought about all the delicious chocolate I have stashed in my filing cabinet.

Let's be real...chocolate saves lives. (This might be an exaggeration, but it gets me through good, bad, long, happy, sad...all the days.) 

It just so happened that I had a few mini Hershey's bars left. These are broken into 4 chunks, perfect for a demonstration of segment addition. I break one bar in half and the other bar I break into 1 and 3.

Segment Addition: We took each bar apart, counted how much they had separately, put them together and counted how much they had together.  (1+3=4 and 2+2=4) 

Midpoint/Bisector: We looked at the one broken in half and saw that 2 does in fact equal 2.

I watched SO many light bulbs go on!! Such a great feeling but then was mad that I didn't think of it sooner. I explained this idea and drew pictures of these things happening, but they needed to physically see it happen.

The plan for next year:
  1. Start with this instead of finish with it! 
  2. Have 2 chocolate bars for each kid, let them break them apart, and put them back together to discover that we can add two pieces together to get the total piece. Or that two halves really do equal one another. 
  3. I think I might do this with pie or cookies too so we can see the angle addiction postulate and bisectors of angles more clearly. (Any reason to bake, really.)
Chocolate solves so many problems.

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