Linda: You wanted opinions and recommendations and so you shall get it. If I had all the money in the world and could get whatever I wanted, then I would get just what we have.
Recommendation #1: THE TEXT. As an oldtimer in this profession who actually met Mary Dolciani when I started and have experienced many different and interesting text approaches, I cannot more strongly recommend Michael Serra's Discovering Geometry - An Inductive Approach. It is an incredible text. In my opinion, it is the best thing since sliced bread. The students are more involved in their own learning. I believe that geometry should experiential and the Serra's book does just that - lots on hands on activites and investigations. There are no definitions or theorems hand fed to the kids. They have to work them out for themselves. And they do through the investigations. I would hate to have to go back to any of the other text I've used in the past. In our district THEY say we don't track kids but we offer three levels and this text works very well for all three. Any questions???
Recommendation #2. Dynamic software. Again the choice is simple. We have Geometer's Sketchpad on our macs in a schoolwide lab. It is great!! Whether they are investigating the properties of quadrilaterals or playing with circles, this piece of software is great. In one of my early trips into the lab with an average geom. class (whatever that means), I was checking for understanding by asking my kids to tell me if (among other things) diameters could be chords and chords diameters and if diameters could be radii and I had one of my least motivated kids answer yes to all of the above and construct two circles the radius of the first being the diameter of the others. When he demonstrated that to the other kids, the "bright" ones complained that I hadn't told them they could use two circles to which the kid responded that I hadn't said they couldn't. He was the star for the first time. On the next trip into the lab, I over him reaching over the a neighbors computers and saying: "No, NO, you do it this way." I think that I had him hooked - not for the rest of the year but for a while.... GSP is supposed to be coming out with a new version (3.0) this spring and I have no idea what bells and whistles it will contain...
Recommendation #3. The Dynamic software that makes the connection to algebra...You were smart to order a copy of Cabri II. What it can do with conics and the like is beautiful. You can create the locus of points that fit their definition and then put on a traditional axis and see the equation or create a new set of axis (say using the directrix and axis of symmetry and see why shifting a conic back to the origin might give you an easier equation to start with. It is a nice alternative piece of software. If you can afford two, get both. If not, either are miles ahead of any of the others. I'm not sure which we would buy for our lab today they both have enough different features that it would be a tough choice.
Is that enough opinion or do you want more?
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