Q&A #19885

Geometry for "gifted" student

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Oct 23, 2008 at 19:02:46
Subject: Re: Geometry for

>HI.  Wondering if you had any thoughts on whether it is possible to
>"extend" 9th grade Geometry class material for a gifted student --
>extending it, say, into her areas of interest, which are Biology and
>Biomedical research?  The problem is that she hasn't yet studied Physics,
>Trig or Calculus?  Would it just be better for her to complete the regular
>9th grade curriculum, and look for Geometry applications as she moves into
>Physics, Trig and Calc.?  Thanks for any thoughts!
>I am a parent, not a teacher, trying to get my gifted daughter's math needs
>met, EITHER by finding some kind of appropriate YEAR-LONG approaches and
>materials to "extend" the reach of the course while she is in the 9th grade
>Geometry course,
>OR by obtaining permission for her to move through the course at her own
>pace and finish by mid-year (to fit in some other course).  I'm not a
>"math" person, per se, hence the questions.
>I was hoping that someone could tell me if 9th grade high-school geometry
>COULD even be "meaningfully extended" to make the course beneficial and of
>academic value to her ALL YEAR -- IS it possible to go into fluid
>mechanics, for example, without having yet studied Physics --
>or would she be better off just moving thru this regular 9th-grade course
>material at her own accelerated pace, perhaps with some "extended asides"
>as appropriate, and then moving on -- being done with this course, and
>knowing to expect to see other types of geometry later on in college or
>graduate studies, after she'd had more science and more math to tie into
>it --
>It just occurred to me that you might not be aware of the typical 9th-grade
>Geometry course contents (and we're here in Pennsylvania, too).  These
>statements are from the high-school's website, and will put the course in
>perspective for you.  My daughter is extremely discouraged by the painfully
>SLOW movement through course material, and the redundancy of the
>presentations -- and she has the "top" teacher and the "top" level class
>offered.  She's a very visual person and likes math; she "gets" this stuff
>the first time through (and sits bored thru umpteen repetitions until the
>others get it), and she NEEDS to either move through and be done, OR have
>it "extended" in some way that has value to her professional goals... but
>that's what I'm trying to ascertain -- CAN it be "extended" now, with her
>having ZERO background in Physics or Trig or Calculus or Statistics -- or
>does it make sense to acquire what's here and be done, for now?
>Thanks, Karen
>In this course, you will develop skills in defining terms, thinking
>logically, and arriving at conclusions, both geometric and non-geometric.
>Lines, angles, circles, triangles, quadrilaterals and other geometric
>figures are studied. Students become familiar with two-column, paragraph,
>and indirect proofs. The relationship of geometry to arithmetic, algebra,
>and right triangle trigonometry is emphasized.  You will also learn and
>develop some basic concepts of solid geometry, coordinate geometry, and
>          In Geometry, you will study basic definitions and concepts
>relevant in Geometry.  You will learn how to use deductive structure in
>which conclusions are justified by means of previously assumed or proved
>statements.  You will learn the concept of congruent angles, segments, and
>triangles.  You will also learn the concept of similar figures, the
>Pythagorean Theorem, circles, area, surface area and volume of various
>geometric figures.

Hey, Karen,

I would say that geometry, as a course, can be greatly enriched. It is 
truly a great course for a visual person.  Aside from whatever text she is 
using, I would suggest using Discovering Geometry published by Key 
Curriculum Press.  It has a hands-on approach to discovering geometric 
principles. In addition, Key Curriculum also has a geometry software 
program called, The Geometer Sketchpad, which even has specialty books 
published with activities for students: tessellations and kaliedoscopes.  

 -Claudia, for the T2T service

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