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Topic: RE: Geometry - high school curriculum in 8th grade
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John Threlkeld

Posts: 33
Registered: 12/6/04
RE: Geometry - high school curriculum in 8th grade
Posted: Jun 19, 2006 6:32 PM
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Not an easy question. Depends on what "bright" means. Are the kids off
the charts or just good, solid math students? If the latter, I wouldn't
rush them into something. Let them learn the geometry of spatial
relationships. If you're thinking you have to do formal proof [and lots
of them], I would worry. Kids this age need to explore geometry --
Geometer's Sketchpad, Cabri [both 2-d and 3-d], and Cinderella 2 are all
wonderful tools that can lead to incredibly sophisticated thinking and
ideas. I would turn the kids loose.

Now, as for the truly bright kids, I think they need some appreciation
of proofs -- but again, they [perhaps more than the others] need to play
and explore geometry. They'll come up, with teacher guidance, with some
great ideas and won't be frustrated by the contrived proofs of a
traditional geometry class.

The bottom line is really what you mean by a traditional geometry class.
I'm not sure that's for anyone these days.

I also found myself wondering what your traditional algebra class may
have looked like in 7th grade. Was it filled with manipulations
[factoring, simplifying rational expressions, etc. -- the stuff of
"traditional" algebra]. I've rarely met a 7th grader who was really
ready for this -- though I'm not trying to doubt your students in any
way. Nor do I know about your school and its constituency. This makes it
a challenge to answer your question well. Again, however, I think that
algebra at this level can be very exploratory and get at some very deep
ideas that way.

Math students must be able to mature as math students. This requires
maturity in a great many other aspects of their lives.

I have been faced with this situation. Our solution has been to explore
algebra [we used Discovering Algebra from Key Curriculum Press in 7th
grade followed by a "traditional" algebra in 8th and geometry in 9th.

Just my thoughts.

John Threlkeld
Chair, Math Dept.
Graland Country Day School
30 Birch St.
Denver, CO 80220


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Judy Landers
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2006 12:58 PM
Subject: Geometry - high school curriculum in 8th grade

Are bright middle school students who successfully complete a
traditional high school Algebra I course in 7th grade ready for a
traditional high school geometry course in 8th grade? I would like to
hear from those who teach in schools that offer Geometry to middle
school students. Information needed on placement (tests, teacher recs,
etc.) administrative support, curriculum and textbook, independent or
public schools.
Thank you,

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