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----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Judy Landers Sent: Monday, June 19, 2006 12:58 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com 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, Judy